Go green with final resting place

GREEN graves are being created so the eco-friendly can do their bit for the environment even in death.

The burial site is in woodland near the A19, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, with only bio-degradable coffins, such as those made from wicker, to be buried on the land.

The resting places will be marked out with keystones and plots identified using GPS satellite at the site, which is near Hurworth Burn Reservoir, on the road between the A19 and Trimdon.

The venture is being launched by eco-fanatic farmer John Thompson and has already attracted the attention of funeral directors.

Mr Thompson's partner Carol Kelly, 45, said: "We've had a few people come out to have a look during the last few weeks and they have been really buzzing about it.

"It's going back into the earth and it's what they want. It is for all faiths and I think people will like it because it's a lovely, living site.

"We've been talking to funeral directors and they think it's a wonderful idea.

"We've just finished the site and people want to know when we will be open and up and running."

The land has been converted from arable fields and was surveyed for its suitability and environmental impact, with oak, birch, pine, cherry and larch trees planted.

Burials will take place in open glades, which will be accessed by grass tracks.

Graves will be hand-dug or created with a mini excavator and funeral directors will oversee ceremonies.

The area will then revert back to grassland, with the paths up to them maintained.

The site has been given the backing of the Natural Death Centre, an education charity which raises awareness of funeral choices outside the mainstream and advice on bereavement and consumer rights.

Woodland Burials will be launched at an open day on Saturday, September 11, between 10am and 4pm at the site.

For more information call (0191) 3723955 or 07932049107 or visit www.woodland-burials.net