Bibby Line Group and GreenAcres Woodland Burials make another bit of history
From its first woodland burial park opening in 2002 in Norfolk, GreenAcres Woodland Burials has seen great success, after Bibby Line Group decided to back the venture.
Now with three fully operational woodland burial parks covering over 150 acres of stunning woodland across the UK, GreenAcres are very pleased to be able to bring the concept to the Liverpool based company by opening its fourth park in Rainford, just outside the city, on 1st July 2013.
Woodland Burials – the GreenAcres way
“The concept of woodland burials aims to reinforce the principle of life’s regular renewal, ‘the cycle of life’ so to speak” commented Andy Paling Managing Director of GreenAcres Woodland Burials. It is slightly different from other ‘green’ or ‘woodland’ burial sites firstly, because it is based around restoring and enhancing the biodiversity of existing woodlands that are currently in poor condition and secondly, because of the unique range of facilities provided”.
All GreenAcres Woodland Burial Parks welcome people of all beliefs and denominations and hosts funerals and ceremonies whether religious or secular. The new site in Rainford, which is part of the Knowsley Estate owned by Lord Derby, won’t be an exception.
GreenAcres strongly believes in the importance of the funeral as part of someone’s bereavement journey and continually strives to ensure the highest level of customer service. This focus led the company team to be recognised nationally – winning the much-coveted National Customer Service Team of the Year Award 2012/2013 beating off stiff competition from the likes of LV and Experian.
The site provides facilities for full burials, ashes burials and scatterings although no cremations take place on site and graves are marked not by headstones but by wooden plaques or carvings which can be as simple or as personal as the family likes. The investment in providing a strong alternative to the general public for their funeral wishes will exceed £1M in the first year and building work has already begun in time for early trading on 1st July with the park to be open with the ceremonial buildings fully operational by January 2014.
High quality sustainable buildings form an integral part of the GreenAcres Woodland Burial concept providing a unique range of bereavement and ceremonial facilities. Specialised management techniques are used to incorporate the burial process within a long term plan to restore the woodland to native broad leaved species.
The Liverpool site comprises two 19th and 20th century plantations; Emma Wood and Grace’s Wood, both part of the Knowsley Estate and covers over 65 acres in total.
Potential families can rest assured that the GreenAcres Woodland Burial parks run to an extremely high standard. All three of the current operational parks have won annual Green Flag Awards for the quality of the woodland management and most recently the park in Buckinghamshire won the counties “Greenest Company Award” in the 2013 Business Enterprise Awards.
The GreenAcres concept of woodland burial is based upon principles of sustainability, biodiversity, quality of service and customer choice. And what’s more a percentage of the purchase price of each burial plot is set aside to ensure the lifetime of the woodland.
“Many families like the feeling that their burial will be a factor in ensuring the life of the woodland for generations to come” said Nicky Whichelow, Group Marketing Manager for GreenAcres.
“And as more and more people turn to an alternative to the stark traditional cemetery or the conveyor belt of the local crematorium, you don’t have to worry that you are doing something so out of the ordinary. You can actually chose the very spot for your burial and with the rise in funeral costs out stripping the return on savings and the growing desire to plan ahead, we have seen a marked rise in people paying for their burial in advance. It’s a bit like finishing a big to-do list where sorting your will and your life insurance happens naturally but the final goodbye is often just ignored leaving friends and family with the stress of organising a funeral without really knowing what their loved one wanted.
The park is open every single day with woodland tours on Wednesday’s, Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings along with free refreshments. There is no need to book.
Benefits of the new Liverpool GreenAcres Woodland Burial site includes the:
- provision of a unique high quality bereavement and burial facility, providing burial choice and meeting local needs in a natural, sustainable way
- opening up of 27 ha or 71 acres of private woodland and meadowland for public access including creation of paths, car parking and toilet facilities
- management of existing woodland to restore native species, provision of additional woodland planting and enrichment of biodiversity through for example – introduction of bat and bird boxes;
- provision of a burial facility, which rather than leaving the community with a long-term liability, leaves it with an enhanced woodland and community asset.
- creation of at least 12 on-site jobs for local people;
- opportunities for local crafts people associated with the creation of carved grave markers (as evidenced from the operational sites);
- opportunities for schools and conservation groups to use the site for educational visits;
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GreenAcres Woodland Burials has been instrumental in the UK development of a unique, meaningful and award-winning concept that has revolutionised the funeral industry. The first GreenAcres site in Colney Wood in Norwich quickly became an award-winning business and was considered a leader in the funeral sector. This flagship example led to further expansion, Epping Forest Woodland Burials 2008, and Chiltern Woodland Burials in 2009. At 72 acres, Chiltern is believed to be the largest of its kind in the UK. The new GreenAcres park at Rainford just outside Liverpool adds a further 65 acres open on 1st July 2013 for full burials, ashes burials and scatterings. The ceremonial buildings will be complete in January 2014
Acres Woodland Burials are unique and stunningly beautiful places where burials and ash interments take place within a mature woodland landscape. The woodland of the parks is treated with the upmost respect and the woodland teams actively encourage the landscape to naturally flourish and develop. The parks are a haven of wild life and plant growth and the spread of biodiversity is also encouraged.
Compared to the operators of other cemeteries – including natural and green burial grounds – GreenAcres Woodland Burials stand out in terms of the quality of the on-site facilities and the service provided. The intention is to become the UK’s leading woodland burial provider, operating in tune with the environment, public opinion and sound ethical principles.