Sally Whitworth

Aylesbury landowner and custodian
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The meadow

Aylesbury Vale natural burial meadow is 7 miles from Aylesbury, 6 miles from Thame and 9 miles from High Wycombe so is well situated to serve Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire as well as London.

The Burial Meadow itself is centrally situated within Aylesbury Vale with a panoramic view of the Chiltern Hills stretching from Ivinghoe Beacon to Watlington and can be found near to the hamlets of Owlswick, Little Meadle and Ford. The views are extensive and contribute to the peace and quiet that are the central element for natural burial.

It is home to a variety of wildlife, insects and birds including hares, roe and muntjac deer, rabbits, red kites, skylarks and herons. Wildflowers carpet the meadow in Spring and a fine crop of hay is produced annually in July. The species-rich pasture is protected by the Countryside Stewardship Scheme which applies to the whole farm, which the Burial Meadow is part of.

Since opening for burials in July 2014, the meadow has naturally evolved. The pond which was dug in March 2014 is now a well-established wildlife habitat teeming with life above and below water. Many memorial trees dedicated to those interred in the Burial Meadow, have been planted. The new hedge between the car park and the meadow is maturing well and the meadow hosts sheep and lambs for many months of each year.

About the landowners

It was set up in 2014 by the then landowner Dorothy Brock, assisted by her daughter Sally Whitworth, in partnership with Leedam. Dorothy decided at the funeral of her husband in 2011 that she didn’t wish to be buried next to him at the local church, as she realised she could see the Chinese Takeaway from his grave.

So, she decided she wanted to buried on her own land, which led to the creation of Aylesbury Vale natural burial ground. Dorothy chose the meadow known as Long Furlong, which has been farmed by Dorothy’s family since the early 1800s.

Sadly, Dorothy died in January 2017 and was buried in her burial meadow on 3rd February 2017. Since then Sally has continued to look after the burial meadow and assist bereaved families with organising funerals assisted by her husband Craig, cousin Howard and daughter Poppy.

It will continue to evolve with its future protected as a green, peaceful and special place for those buried there and for their loved ones to visit and remember them.