Tessa and Jeremy Russell

Dorset landowners & custodians
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The meadow

Quintessential downland The Dorset Downs natural burial meadow sits in the heart of the West Dorset countryside, above the village of Compton Valence, just five miles from the county town of Dorchester.

This beautiful land, a designated part of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is farmed by the Russell family, who have lived here for several generations. The natural burial ground is restored to pre-war downland having been ploughed for many years in a drive for more home-grown food.

The adjacent downland is already a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) and it is expected that within a relatively short space of time the natural burial ground will become imbued with the same wildflower species.

About the landowners

The burial ground was set up in 2021 by the landowners Jeremy and Tessa Russell, in partnership with Leedam. Tessa grew up on the farm alongside several other Chick family members and continues to live here today.

The Russell’s are committed to sustaining this idyllic landscape…

The wildflower rich mix of seed we have sown, together with the restored and newly planted hedgerows should help encourage wildlife and give shelter to the reborn downland. It’s a place that’s special to us, which we hope others will share and enjoy.