Our family have lived on site at Pentiddy Woods as resident woodsmen since 2005 where we have turned a bare field site into a thriving woodland smallholding. The project focuses on sustainable woodland practices and low impact living and has been designed on Permaculure principles with its ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share. At Pentiddy we live off grid and demonstrate many examples of alternative and appropriate technologies. On either side of the burial site is Pentiddy Community Woodland (Charity no. 1094857) and our newly planted community coppice.

The idea for the burial ground came the same year that we moved here from a friend asking if his Mum, recently deceased, could be laid to rest with us as she’d always wanted to be part of a project like ours but had never quite made it. We knew absolutely nothing about it so set about researching the ins and outs, found out that it was fine to proceed and had Mary’s burial here in the August.

The ceremony took place in a yurt where family and friends sat around Mary who was candle lit and surrounded by flowers, sharing their fondest memories of her. It was so heartfelt and lovingly prepared with the family fully involved from hand-carving the coffin to playing live music for the procession to the woods, all skilfully supported by Rupert and Claire Callander from The Green Funeral Company. It left such an impression on us that we immediately looked into the possibility of offering more spaces for burials and so Pentiddy Natural Burials was born.

We feel eternally grateful for the opportunity to run the burial site and it feels such an honour to support so many families in creating personal celebrations in a place that truly nurtures.