Bristol Memorial Woodlands has reopened to the public, following a change to the rules signed by the Secretary of State for Health. Families are once again visiting the resting places of their loved ones and others to enjoy the woodlands, providing they adhere to social distancing rules.
The 100-acre woodlands just north of Bristol near Alveston, were closed in March on the instructions of the Government, although graveside funerals have continued and now small-scale funerals for up to 10 mourners have resumed in the chapel.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic Bristol Memorial Woodlands has reduced the cost of funerals and increased the number of services being offered each week. Families may also have a simple funeral now and return for a full-scale memorial service and wake later in the year with graveside ceremony.
Christopher Baker, founder of the woodlands, said: “The whole idea of creating the woodlands is to provide a tranquil place that the public can enjoy. More than ever a place where people can reflect and relax outdoors is needed. We are creating a traditional English woodland maintained for the future by a charitable trust.
“We are pleased that our gates are open once again and ask all visitors to adhere to social distancing from others that may be visiting and stay in their family groups and respect those attending funerals.
“Work has gone on behind the scenes to increase our capacity for funerals and enable us to introduce burials at below the average price of a cremation. We provide more time for families to grieve and mark the passing of a loved one than the short slots available at busy crematoriums.”
Burials at Bristol Memorial Woodlands are less environmentally damaging than cremations. The woodlands also include the “Meadows of Peace” for Muslim burials and a dedicated Jewish cemetery.