GreenAcres Woodland Burials awarded permission for new site in Liverpool
GreenAcres Woodland Burials strongly believes in the importance of the funeral as part of someone’s bereavement journey, continually striving to ensure all customers wishes where they are legally possible, are met.
GreenAcres Woodland Burials opened its first woodland burial park in 2002 in Norfolk, quickly followed by Epping Forest in Essex and Chiltern in Buckinghamshire, bringing the total woodland in its stewardship to over 150 acres.
But with the current rise in interest by the public in woodland burials it has decided to expand its reach, bringing a viable alternative to the funeral world for those seeking something less stark than a traditional cemetery whether it is for a full burial, an ashes burial or just a simple woodland service.
So they were very pleased when in late December 2012, GreenAcres Woodland Burials was awarded planning permission to develop another site in Liverpool.
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”.
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
All GreenAcres Woodland Burial Parks welcome people of all beliefs and denominations and hosts funerals and ceremonies whether religious or secular and the new site in Liverpool won’t be an exception and strongly believes in the importance of the funeral as part of someone’s bereavement journey, continually striving to ensure all customers wishes where they are legally possible, are met.
No cremations take place on site, although ashes can be interred and graves are marked not by grey headstones but by wooden plaques or carvings.
The Liverpool site comprises two 19th and 20th century plantations; Emma Wood and Grace’s Wood, both part of the Knowsley estate – although a challenge now is to find a suitable name for the site. Emma’s Wood Woodland Burials doesn’t quite roll off the tongue!!
The investment in providing a strong alternative to the general public for their funeral wishes will exceed £1M in the first year and it is expected that building work will begin in early spring, with the first visitors expected in late summer and the park to be fully open by late autumn.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 quality of management, various other environmental and design awards and for five consecutive years from 2005 the company was awarded the IBCA Cemetery of the year award until the award was discontinued in 2010.The company has also just been awarded the European Business Award for Customer Service for Front Line Team of the Year in November 2012.
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 you certainly don’t have to worry that this is an option out of your reach. The exclusive use of the woodland building for a service starts at £195 for an hour and areas for burials and ashes burials can be bought in advance or at the time of need – with the ability to choose the exact place under the designated burial trees”
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 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;
For more information on GreenAcres Woodland Burials get in touch at
t : @greenacreswb
For all press enquiries contact Nicky Whichelow Head of Group Marketing at
GreenAcres Woodland Burials (formerly Woodland Burial Parks Group) has been instrumental in the UK development of a unique, meaningful and award-winning concept that has revolutionised the funeral industry. With just 5 parks in 1999 calling themselves woodland or natural to 255 in 2009, several contributory factors have witnessed the rise of the woodland or natural burial concept in the UK;
a nationwide shortage of burial space in traditional cemeteries
a move towards increasingly personalised funerals
consumer demand for greater choice
increased environmental awareness ( concerns about cremation emissions and the use of non-bi-degradable materials
So, from humble beginnings in 2001, when the concept was still relatively new the first GreenAcres site in Colney Wood in Norwich became an award-winning business and was considered a leader in the funeral sector. This flagship example showed proof of concept and led to the expansion of 2 new sites; Epping Forest Burials 2008, and Chiltern Woodland Burials in 2009. At 72 acres, Chiltern is believed to be the largest of its kind in the UK.
GreenAcres Woodland Burials are unique and stunningly beautiful places where burials and ash interments take place within a mature woodland landscape, and every need of the bereaved is anticipated and provided for.
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.
But most importantly, customer service is paramount. The highly professional team is trained to the highest standard in order to provide the exemplary levels of customer service that the business has become renowned for. Uniquely all GreenAcres woodland sites are open and fully staffed 365 days a year providing a totally personal funeral experience
Community involvement is a large part of the GreenAcres Woodland Burials ethos and the company has been publicly praised for both its local charity fund raising as well as supporting local groups in a more practical way such as offering the use of its beautiful ceremonial buildings to local groups for free.
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 natural burial provider, operating in tune with the environment, public opinion and sound ethical principles.