Andy Chanter

Henley-on-Thames Custodian
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It’s important to commemorate the names of the dead and when they lived.

The woodland burial ground will remain as a natural environment. Unlike a conventional cemetery, there will not be rows of memorial stones, benches, vases of flowers or mementos, which would alter the special natural quality of the woodland.

Memorial plaques

Inside the burial ground among the woodland are two solid chestnut-framed memorial panels where slate plaques are mounted. Each plaque is inscribed with the name, year of birth and year of death of those buried here.

We have selected the materials and construction to withstand the test of time and weather. For many, it is important to have the name of the person written and recorded, especially as there are no markers on the individual graves in the natural burial meadow.

If you would like to order one please go to the forms and prices page and download a memorial application form and send it to us.

Memorial rights

Memorial rights are granted for the display of a memorial plaque in the frame. Rights last for a period of 25 years after which they are renewable. The renewal of memorial rights in the future will provide an important contribution to the upkeep of the frame and other maintenance at the burial ground after income from the sale of rights of burial has ceased.

Creating a new woodland

Native tree planting at the natural burial ground will create a new area of woodland, improving biodiversity and encouraging wildlife to visit.

No individual trees are planted as memorials. Other burial grounds which do are much more like parks or gardens. We aim to create a wilder more natural woodland.

The vision for the future is that as the planted woodland grows, seedlings and shrubs form into saplings and trees. The leaf canopy extends to block the light and shade the ground. Secondary growth of naturally seeded trees and shrubs spring up to fill gaps and the under-storey plants develop into a thicket – wildlife thrives.

Decades pass and the large trees mature to dominate the woodland. Smaller trees and shrubs form the under-storey and margins; taller herbaceous plants mark the transition from woodland to open glade, where shorter grasses are grazed.

Mementoes and plants at the burial ground

In order to conserve the natural habitat and protect bereaved families, graves must not be gardened and nothing should be placed or planted and no seeds should be scattered on the graves without consent from the custodian, Andy. She can advise on native species and a supplier.

Our aim is to keep everything as natural as possible to maintain and enhance the local biodiversity.​ Anything that appears without our consent will be removed. Please make sure that this is right for you before you commit to the burial ground. It will not suit everyone.

Wild Flowers

Native wildflower seeds may be scattered on the grave and the surrounding area after the burial. The wildflower mix should be chosen to suit the clay sub-soil.

A typical mix would comprise:

  • Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus Corniculatus)
  • Corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas)
  • Cowlsip (Primula veris)
  • Field Scabious (knautia arvensis)
  • Lady’s Bedstraw (Galium Verum)
  • Lesser knapweed (centaurea nigra)
  • Meadow buttercup (ranunculus acris)
  • Musk Mallow (Malva Moschata)
  • Ox eye daisy (leucanthemum vulgare)
  • Ragged robin (lychnis flos cuculi)
  • Red campion (Silene Dioica)
  • Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
  • Salad burnet (sanguisorba minor)
  • Self heal (Prunella vulgaris)
  • Sorrel (rumex acetosa)
  • White campion (Silene Alba)
  • Wild carrot (Daucus Carota)
  • Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)
  • Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor).​

Native species are not easily found at the garden centre but can be ordered from specialist nurseries.