Everyone involved with Leedam Natural Heritage is passionate about changing peoples' funeral experiences for the better. Through good stewardship of the land and a friendly, human, honest and pragmatic service, we help families to arrange a more personal funeral and memorable day.
At the burial grounds
Each burial ground has it's own custodian some of whom are also the landowner. They are more than happy to show you around and on the day of a funeral will guide you and your family to the grave. If you have any special requests, please do not hesitate to ask.
In the office
Leedam Natural Heritage is based in Monmouth, South Wales. Here you'll find James, Elaine and Tracy who are all happy to answer your questions, however unconventional they may be. With many years of experience in arranging natural burials, they can offer you support and guide you through the practicalities of arranging a funeral, telling you what others have done before that has worked well.
James Leedam - formerly a Chartered Building Surveyor specialising in the repair of historic buildings and architectural work, James turned his attention to setting up and managing new natural burial grounds in 2003. He has a clear philosophy, which is to keep things simple, natural and beautiful, to use local materials, native plants, and to preserve the history of the landscape.
He was part of the Ministry of Justice panel that contributed to the MoJ's 'Natural Burial Grounds - Guidance for Operators'. In 2008 he joined the Natural Death Centre as a trustee, where he helped to reinvigorate and update the charity for a busy 18 months. In 2011 James was invited to serve on a committee to advise the board of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management on matters relating to sustainable natural burial grounds, with a view to setting up a diploma course in Natural Burial Ground Management and a new Charter for Natural Burial. James is now an active member of the Good Funerals Guild.
He enjoys the fun and camaraderie of singing bass in the Monmouth Male Voice Choir and Drybrook and District Male Voice Choir. Also a keen fly fisherman and fledgling potter, James grew up in Mid Sussex, spent his university years and early career in London, moving to Wales in 1994, where he now lives with his wife, Elaine.
Elaine Leedam - Joined in April 2015 - Elaine has been involved with the company from the very beginning and works alongside James, to manage the business, and deal with enquiries from families and funeral directors alike.
After working for six years with Tovey Bros. (a highly respected funeral directors in Newport), and having qualified as a funeral administrator, Elaine brings a thorough understanding of the funeral director's requirements and procedures.
When not at work Elaine is learning to play golf, and speak Spanish. At home, she is often busy in the garden or foraging for hedgerow fruits. She can turn her hand to just about anything including pottery, traditional upholstery, floristry, playing the piano, jam-making and cooking - having more cookery books than anyone else we know!
Tracy Richards - Joined in October 2016 and is now an indispensable member of the team. Tracy is responsible for managing the arrangements for funerals at the burial grounds and so is the vital hub of all of the information that is needed to make sure that everything comes together for a funeral.
She is in constant liaison with funeral directors, families, custodians, landowners and gravediggers, so it is a good thing that she is a self-declared 'people person'.
As if she is not busy enough at work, Tracy goes home to a busy family and social life. A dedicated rugby and gymnastics mum, she also runs with a club in town and completed her first half-marathon at Cardiff in October 2018. The family's energetic dog, Beau, also demands daily exercise and when she is finished outdoors, Tracy enjoys cooking for family and friends...