At the moment home working has become the norm, and Sarah our custodian at Pembrokeshire Natural Burial Ground is also doing some home schooling with her son Jesse. They had been tasked with making a bird feeder and decided that they wanted to do something natural. They have shared with us, ‘how they made a natural pine cone bird feeder’.
Hi, I am Seren Richards, the burial grounds manager’s daughter. My nan’s ashes are in Usk and we chose here because it is local and we can visit her whenever we would like too! The day we went for a walk there all of the family knew that this is where she would want to be. In the summer months, we would all spend the afternoon there and bring a picnic with us. We all love the openness and freedom that the meadow has to offer!
As we move through winter months full of traditions which we thought it might be nice to share a forgotten tradition relating to our beloved honey bees. While honey bees are often associated with life, helping to pollinate flowers and plants and bring honey to the world, they also have a very special connection to death with the tradition of ‘Telling the Bees’.
Carbon is everywhere, it’s in the air we breathe, in the food we eat, in the fuel we use in the products we buy and, yes, we’re made up of carbon too. Life is based upon the element carbon. The problem is that we have extracted a whole lot of carbon from the ground, in terms of coal, oil and gas, and by using the energy stored up in the carbon compounds they contain, we have released enormous amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, unbalancing the equilibrium that previously existed.
We know sometimes choosing a memorial tree, whether it's for a natural burial ground or at your own home can be difficult. There are so many beautiful trees to choose from. If you are not sure what tree to choose for your tree planting the Celtic Tree Calendar may help bring some inspiration, especially if there is a special date you wish to remember.
This is our 6 step guide for those who are thinking of planting a memorial tree. We offer memorial tree planting at some of our natural burial grounds and will give you all the advice and support you need when planting a tree with us, but we know some families would also like to do this at home. We thought it might be nice to share some of the tips we have learnt from planting our own trees at our natural burial grounds in a handy guide. You may find other ways that we haven't suggested but this is just a helpful guide with the top tips we have learnt over the years.
For many having a memorial is an important part of remembering someone special. It’s a place that you can visit and take a moment to remember and reflect. While we offer simple natural memorials in the memorial frames and shelters at our natural burial grounds, we understand some families also like to have something a bit closer to home. If you have decided that you would like to do something special at home or in a place you shared, or maybe even that would like plant a tree or a favourite flower in your garden in memory of someone special this may be something you would like to commemorate with your own personal memorial plaque. UK Memorials have very kindly written a blog for us about the different type of natural memorials families may wish to use for their own personal memorials away from the natural burial ground.
As many of the families that visit our natural burial grounds know we love to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever we can. This includes encouraging locally sourced tributes for our natural burial grounds and we love seeing foraged and handmade floral tributes. Sarah, at our natural burial ground in Pembrokeshire, has made a wreath from foliage that she has foraged with her son Jesse. She wanted to share this with us and how she found the experience of 'making your own wreath'.
How Isabel Thomas is helping children to understand what happens when we die with 'The Fox: A Circle of Life Story'.
We recently heard about a very special book on woman's hour which helps families to talk about death in an open way with children. ‘The Fox: A Circle of Life Story’, written by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Daniel Egnéus, helps to answer a really big question that many children will ask at some point, ’what happens when we die?'
The book is not linked to religion or after death beliefs but instead explains the concept of death itself, - “Fox: A Circle of Life Story answers the big scientific question: What happens when we die?” - Bloomsbury.
Families planning a funeral are already having a hard time. Add to this the current restrictions and it just makes it harder. We have heard stories of family bubbles being separated in chairs 2m apart from each other, of funerals taking place in chapels surrounded by COVID notices where families are continually reminded of restrictions such as no singing, and with no hand to hold or arm to comfort one another it just makes a hard time that much harder. It is heart-breaking, especially because we have had such a different experience and heard positive stories including tales of takeaway pizza in the meadow and ice cream to celebrate a life.
We know funerals have to be safe, but they also have to be compassionate and at our natural burial grounds families are finding positive ways to keep funerals personal. However this is also largely due to our wonderful custodians who are working with funeral directors and families to bring personal touches that overcome the ‘Coldness of Covid’. Sally at Bath Natural Burial Meadow is one of these custodians and it has been lovely to hear that her families have been able to plan special and personal funerals. After hearing such heart-breaking stories we thought it might be nice to share some of these.
Stories and thoughts from the Leedam camp.
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