Reflecting on the past year at Leedam Natural Burials

13th January 2022#news
Reflecting on the past year at Leedam Natural Burials

As we settle into a new year we thought it would be a good time to share the news from our natural burial grounds from 2021. You can find out what’s been going on during the last year and some exciting news we had for pet lovers.

Rising to the challenge of restrictions

We know 2021 was a challenging year for many people. Restrictions at the beginning of the year made a difficult time even harder when planning funerals. However, we were in awe of the positivity and courage of those planning funerals and natural burials. We saw this in the families and the professionals helping them to arrange funerals. The way people embraced ideas to make funerals special and personal amidst restrictions was inspiring.

These included hosting online funerals over the internet so all could be there. Bringing the dogs to the funeral to include the whole family bubble. Finding a special way to say goodbye like leading cortege down a special street. This allowed family, friends and neighbours to take a moment to safely say goodbye. Some corteges were led by the motorbike, van, tractor or horse of the departed, sharing with everyone a reminder of good memories. These would then join us as a special tribute at the meadow or woodland burial ground. Everyone came together and supported each other to make the most of a bad situation, including our own staff back at head office and custodians and their respective gravediggers and helpers who were all fantastic.

“Everyone came together and supported each other to make the most of a bad situation including our own custodians who were fantastic”. – Leedam

We had people celebrating with ice cream vans, takeaway pizza and picnics. As it got colder families brought flasks and on one occasion ‘much-loved custard creams’ because a wake was not possible. People found ways to include those that could not be there. Some brought special messages or attached wooden tags for those that could not attend. We even had tributes that everyone had contributed to because they were not able to attend in person. They were very much with us in thought and spirit. Those who could not travel because they were abroad joined us from afar through the power of video call. While others marked the moment of a natural burial or funeral in their own special way from their home.

Finally, there was light at the end of the tunnel

We were very glad when we could safely start to lift these restrictions. It was great that we could welcome more family and friends back to the natural burial grounds so all could celebrate in person. We were also very grateful that our natural burial grounds allowed us to do this in a flexible way. The great outdoors gave us space and time to allow a safe setting for personal outdoor funerals. It was a place covid did not get to be the centre of attention.

Some exciting news for pet lovers

One of the big changes that happened across all our natural burial grounds was that we obtained permission for pets ashes. This means pets ashes can be included as part of a natural burial or interment of ashes.

It’s a request that is becoming more common and we know how important pets are. Our natural burial grounds were already pet friendly and we have always offered pet-friendly funerals. While we are animal lovers ourselves and have pets of our own so understand that they are part of your family. This is why we felt it was really important that we made this happen. For some, it is their wish to have their pets with them. We offer natural pet burial at some of our natural burial grounds too, but we wanted to give everyone the chance to have their pets with them. We hope it helps to bring comfort to those who would like a send-off with a beloved pet.

Dog in meadow at Pembrokeshire natural burial ground

Back at Head Office

At head office in Monmouth, it was quiet at the beginning of 2021 as everyone was working from home where possible. However, we were all still very busy at home helping to arrange burials and funerals. Later in the year when restrictions had lifted, we were able to re-open the doors to the office. Our marketing coordinator Sarah finally managed to get to Scotland to visit our Scottish natural burials. While a really exciting change was that Rhi Leedam joined the company full time as Director. She’s been there as every natural burial ground has been established. She has watched them as they grow and develop so it’s great to have someone who understands why they are so special.

In 2021 we also had the launch of our new branding and a new website created by Rhi and Blue Stag. It looks fantastic! We would definitely recommend that you go and have a look if you want to find out more about natural burial.

At our Natural Burial Grounds

Over at the natural burial grounds our custodians and landowners had everything in hand, while we were busy keeping everyone up to date with news and photos on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

There have also been some really exciting changes and special projects going on at each of our natural burial grounds. You can find out what has been going on during 2021, green projects and news about your local natural burial ground at the blogs below.

Welcoming in 2022

As the year came to a close it was lovely to gather with colleagues and friends to celebrate the year and the challenges we have overcome. We remembered absent friends and family, the families we had met over the last year and all those resting with us. Now we are looking forward to the weather warming up and are already seeing signs that the late winter / early spring flowers are on the way.