Bristol Memorial Woodland wins national praise

Bristol Memorial Woodlands cemetery has been praised by Gentle Dusk for allowing “people to take as long as they need to say goodbye to their loved ones.”

Mireille Hayden of Gentle Dusk, which provides training for those working with the bereaved, singled out Bristol Memorial Woodlands.

She said: “We are in an age where crematoria give short allocated time slots for a funeral and often there is no grave, headstone or place where someone can go to remember their loved one.

“Bristol Memorial Woodlands offers people the chance to take as much time as they want to say goodbye to someone.There is a burial with a tree becoming part of a marvellous woodland where families can visit whenever they feel the need. 

“There is something timeless about a woodland setting and it is a place of calm where people can reflect and come to terms with their grief.”

Hayden added: “Creating and protecting this natural environment for the future is very positive. The model should be replicated across the country.”

David Rae of Bristol Memorial Woodland said: “Often death and dying is a taboo subject but it is a conversation we all need to have as it affects us all. Everyone copes with grief in a different way.

“It is marvellous to see whole families having a picnic under a tree where grandparents were buried; or a person sitting alone with their thoughts in the woodland.”

He added: “Because people can visit us at any time and enjoy the space and where there is a specific plot and tree allocated to the person, individuals can take as long as they need to grieve.”

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