Markfield Natural Burial Ground is a project that has come into being due to numerous
and varied influences.
An awareness of a growing general
desire amongst all of us to be in harmony with nature and to leave less of a footprint on the environment.
The personal experience I have of laying both my parents to rest in a natural burial
ground, and the calm, informal, familial atmosphere pervasive during the day.
The desire for, and then awareness of, the option to be able to choose a less formal
experience than a traditional burial ceremony.
My personal desire to work outside with nature and to make my personal contribution
to improving my environment.
My recognition of the great good fortune I have to be able to make that dream a reality.
The first cleared area - with our favourite oak tree in the middle
And so, when the
opportunity to buy a suitable piece of land presented itself, the chance to put all these ideas into practice was taken. The process was not the easiest. Turning a wild, tangled,
monoculture plantation into a restful country meadow, incorporating improved environments for insect, avian and small mammalian life was, in turns, back breaking hard work and immensely
emotionally rewarding. It was also humbling when being overwhelmed with gratitude at all the help we have received from the many wide ranging agencies, both paid and voluntary, who
have been involved. In particular:
Those friends who have pitched up in heat and sun, rain and wind, and snow
and ice, who have sweated, heaved and lifted, and who have advised and sympathised.
Bosworth and Hinckley District Council, who really did understand the pressures on a
small independent project such as this.
Leicestershire County Council Ecology Department for their enthusiasm and positive
mindset, and their prompt, helpful and constructive criticism.
The local farming community who have been accepting of a newcomer, and been generous
with advice, time and knowledge.
Rosie Inman-Cook, at the Association of Natural Burial Grounds for her patience,
knowledge and infectious enthusiasm.
Our new neighbours, who willingly accepted my new project, and quickly realised
the benefits for all parties.
And finally, the swifts, swallows, kestrels, buzzards, sparrowhawks, jays, magpies,
crows, woodpeckers, cuckoos, sparrows, yellowhammer, blackbirds, wrens, robins, frogs, roe deer, foxes, pheasants, dragonflies, damselflies, snails, slugs, spiders, butterflies,
moths, beetles, bees and wasps, amongst others, who have in turns amazed, amused and kept me company when working alone in the wood.
A common buzzard - a regular visitor