The Willows is a flourishing natural burial ground situated in South Croxton in Leicestershire’s Charnwood Forest. Care, consideration and respect are at the heart of what we do. We are passionate about delivering a personalised service as we understand and respect how difficult bereavement can be. Since we opened in 2011, we have won ‘The People’s Choice’ award, 5 times for the best natural burial ground in the East of England for our service and commitment to the families who choose our site.
Central to the site is a flourishing willow tree which seasonally provides an extended canvas of colourful flora, leading to our wheel design layout which alternates wild flower meadows and woodlands. The western boundary falls towards and overlooks two ponds which support wildlife and fish,. This land was recently purchased by The Willows and we are developing it to become an extension of our natural burial ground. Our vision is to create an area of natural beauty and serenity that will develop and mature into a fitting place to reflect upon and remember your loved ones.
Purchasing a Plot
If purchasing a plot in advance you will be able to choose the precise location of your burial plot. You will be given a right of burial certificate which will show the type of plot chosen and its location co-ordinates within the site.
The Willows comprises three distinct styles of areas each with their own differing character: Wild Flower Meadow; Woodland and a Woodland Reflection area which is used for ashes interments.
Wild Flower Meadow Areas are available for coffin and urn burials. Memorial posts are erected around the burial ground for the fixing of Welsh slate engraved plaques. It is also possible to purchase larger engraved Welsh slate plaques for placement on the surface of the full coffin burial plot. (These surface plaques are recessed into the ground for ease of mowing twice yearly).
Woodland Burial Areas are available for both coffins and urn burials. At the time of a full coffin plot purchase, a tree can be selected and purchased from a list of native British trees, which will be planted at the correct time of year above the grave. A burial is available in the woodland area without the purchase of a tree. Trees generally are not planted in advance of a burial otherwise it may be destroyed during the interment process. A small engraved Welsh slate plaque can be purchased, which will be mounted on a small oak post next to the tree.
The Woodland Reflection Area overlooks two ponds and is for the burial of urns, scattering of ashes and general remembrance of loved ones buried elsewhere (and possibly many years ago too). There are pre-purchased trees which can be purchased and dedicated to your loved one.
To pre-purchase a plot, please contact us to arrange a visit so that you can make a selection in an area you like.
The Burial and Service
We welcome people of all faiths and beliefs, we like to say “all faiths or no faiths, all are welcome. Some families choose to hold a full service at the grave side, others have a service elsewhere and then come to the burial ground. Others have a small, private interment followed by a memorial service another day. There is no time limit; families are able to take as much time as they need. Parking is available for the hearse, with a limited number of other spaces available for other vehicles.
Coffins, urns and shrouds need to be environmentally friendly and must be made of natural materials such as banana leaf, cardboard or willow. Traditional wooden coffins are permitted but only if they are made from sustainable wood. They should also be free from artificial linings and plastic.
Floral tributes (free from any sort of packaging or plastic) will be allowed at the grave for a reasonable time. Personal belongings may be buried along with the deceased as long as they are made from natural materials. Families can help the sites professional grave digger to dig their loved ones grave and assist in backfilling it if they wish. Local trees such as ash, birch, hazel and oak can be planted to honour the memory of the person who has died, and appropriate memorial plaques or posts can be erected to mark the grave as indicated below.
Welsh Slate Plaques are machine cut, engraved, painted and polished by local businesses. The size of the plaque depends on the quantity of lettering and font selected. Personalised images and illustrations are available and can be painted also. The style, size and content of the wording has to be agreed with the site
Substantial Bench Seats, supplied from sustainable forestry and manufactured in the UK are available to purchase, and can be dedicated by the fixing of a named plaque.
?As the woodland develops, bird and bat boxes can become a feature.
?Purchased trees are guaranteed for 3 years, during which time we will replace any failing trees once.
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