Chiltern Woodland Burial Park
Posted on Monday 2nd February 2009 by Louise Carron Harris
I have been waiting to visit the new Chiltern Woodland burial Park since it opened up in November. In fact when I heard there was one opening up I just wanted to burst with excitement! Our area was crying out for a good woodland burial park and when I found out it was the same organisation as Epping forest then I knew it was going to be great!
I decided to take my daughter along to see it, she’s only 2 and a half and I thought she could run around and get some fresh air while we wondered round the woodland chatting to Fran Hall the site manager. The development is still very new, none of the buildings are finished, there’s some construction work going on and the office is a portacabin! However, you instantly see right through the imperfections. The woodland is just breath taking, it’s beautiful, its perfect and its development is Unanimous. I don’t want to seem as all hippy dippy about it, but I can’t help but be overwhelmed at how wonderful the woodland is. Its energy and its beauty is consuming.
The buildings are beautifully designed – still unfinished but judging by the photos of Epping forest buildings then they will be nothing but harmonious with the woodland surroundings. Fran gave me an insight into creativity and spiritualism reflected in the architecture of the wooden buildings. (it’s something I feel is impossible for interpret back to you but will seek out more info about it to pass on)
Fran is lovely, she was a funeral directors for 6 years and understands how hard it is to prove yourself as a young woman in the male dominated funeral industry so naturally we got on well and connect over our vision and the drive for the future of the funeral industry . You can instantly see why Fran and her team will make the woodlands a home for everyone who comes to visit. She is open and accommodating to all ideas as long as it respectful to the woodland.
I can’t wait to see the park complete in the spring. I just want to take people, clients, friends and family to see it. Show them that it’s not such a dark, morbid and scary place as their mind sees! I’ve spoken to friends and mums & dads at the pre-school gates about this fantastic place and they look at me as if I am some crazy weird woman – I mean who the hell gets over excited about a burial ground? I just want to say, hey come and see for yourself, it’s amazing, It’s beautiful, its tranquil and it’s the way forward.
In truth, walking into the woodland last week gave made me realise why I was so excited about this place – the woodland makes death more acceptable, even beautiful. It lifts a layer of taboo, peels back the shade hiding the reality of death and tackles the stigma attached to the processes.
Maybe this is the first step to cracking the great British way of ‘not wanting to think about or deal with death’.