Catching up on 2021 with Henley on Thames Woodland Burial Ground
Looking back over the last year
2021 started with our new group of native trees taking root in the woodland. Native tree planting takes place over the bare root season (November – March). This is the best time for our new native trees to establish. In November 2020 Wild Cherry, Oak, Dogwood, Silver Birch, Field Maple, Hazel and White Hawthorn were trees planted by James and Isaac. This meant they had a good amount of time settling into their new home before the spring and new growth of 2021. Over the last year, we have seen these take root and the new native woodland is looking fantastic. Our older trees are beginning to mature, while newer ones are starting to expand the woodland. In a few years, our most recent trees will have found their space in the woodland too.
It was a busy year which with its challenges, because as we all know there were restrictions with covid. As these have lifted it’s been really nice to see that families are no longer confined to set numbers. It was great that families had a bit more flexibility with the open space of the natural burial ground too. We have had very personal and special funerals even amidst the difficulties of covid. People have found their own special ways to remember those they love. We hope that they continue to do this in the future and continue to embrace their own way of doing things.
We also had some good news for those that want to include their pet’s ashes as part of their natural burial. In 2021 we got the news that we could finally include pets ashes as part of a natural burial or interment of ashes. We know that for some this is an important part of their wishes so we are pleased that we can offer this.
Our Green Projects
During the summer, as you enter the meadow you will see the verges full of wildflowers. This year was no different. They looked beautiful with their mix of ox-eye daisies, knapweed and Musk Mallow.
Our big green project is our native woodland. This is an ongoing project, growing every year with new burials. The new woodland has established enough to start providing shelter and diverse habitat for our native wildlife. We often see roe deer and lots of different birds throughout the year. Pollinators like butterflies and bees love to visit in the warmer months. In 2021, even when the insects had started to overwinter, we still saw signs of them. As the autumn leaves fell wasp galls became apparent on the branches. They help to signify what an important native habitat the woodland is already providing.
Moving into 2022
We have already had a busy start to the year with our latest native tree planting taking place at the end of January. A big thanks to Martyn Davies for his help with this. You will find a mix of Wild Cherry, Field Maple, Silver Birch, White Hawthorn, Hazel and Guelder Rose. You can also find signs that spring is now on the way with the appearance of daffodils, snowdrops and primroses.
Keep up to date
If you want to keep up to date with what is going on throughout the year you can follow us on our Instagram or Facebook.