Ancient woodland gets new role

AN ancient woodland could be used for green burials, if councillors approve a planning application.West Dodnash Wood, near Ipswich, suffered severe damage in the hurricane that hit the region in 1987 and it has been claimed the proposal could restore some native English trees to the site.

AN ancient woodland could be used for green burials, if councillors approve a planning application.

West Dodnash Wood, near Ipswich, suffered severe damage in the hurricane that hit the region in 1987 and it has been claimed the proposal could restore some native English trees to the site.

It is the second time Ipswich-based funeral directors Farthing, Singleton and Hastings have applied for permission to use part of the site for green burials.

Robert Farthing said: "The basic principle is that after a burial a tree is planted, but the grave is otherwise unmarked and there is no headstone."


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Woodland co-owner, Sara Eley, from East Bergholt, said she fully supported the idea of a green burial site.

"It's a beautiful and varied woodland and very peaceful. I'm all for it. Graveyards are getting full and this would give people an alternative if they wished to be buried but not in a churchyard," she added.

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The previous application for the site was turned down by Babergh District Council in May because there were concerns about the effect digging up plots of land would have on the ecology of an area of heathland on the site.

Since then the landowners have had discussions Suffolk County Council's countryside manager to resolve those concerns.

A county council spokeswoman said there was plenty of other land within the site that could be used for a green burial site without disturbing protected areas.

Keith Phillips, chairman of Bentley Parish Council, said there had been concerns about access to the wood, which was on a dangerous stretch of road, but not about the idea of a green burial site.

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