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Burial park near Norwich unveils its unique funeral venue

PUBLISHED: 14:34 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:56 25 October 2018

Park managers Andrew and Caroline Morton with their children Toby and India, outside the new ceremonial Cedar Hall at Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park, which was opened yesterday. Photo: Bluebell Wood

Park managers Andrew and Caroline Morton with their children Toby and India, outside the new ceremonial Cedar Hall at Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park, which was opened yesterday. Photo: Bluebell Wood

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A nature-focused burial park near Norwich has unveiled its latest addition for people seeking an original send-off for loved ones.

Inside the new ceremonial hall, completed this week at Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park. Photo: Bluebell Wood.Inside the new ceremonial hall, completed this week at Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park. Photo: Bluebell Wood.

Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park in Hainford has opened its new ceremonial hall, which is erected in the heart of its 18-acre parkland site.

The burial park has been open since 2015, but owner Andrew Morton said they delayed building the hall so they could spend time gathering people’s thoughts on what the space should include.

They encouraged people to identify ways the new venue could support and comfort them through family grief, as well as the facilities they would find helpful.

In their research, they discovered a thirst for versatile, original ceremonies to reflect the unique personalities of the people they pay tribute to.

Senior warden Matthew Greaves (left), with park managers Andrew and Caroline Morton at the new ceremonial Cedar Hall at Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park. Photo: Bluebell WoodSenior warden Matthew Greaves (left), with park managers Andrew and Caroline Morton at the new ceremonial Cedar Hall at Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park. Photo: Bluebell Wood

Ideas came from people of all faiths and denominations, as well as those looking for non-religious services and celebrations.

The eight-sided Cedar Hall can seat 120 people, with standing room for another 80 and was flexibly designed to host a variety of unique services.

One of the most important parts of many people’s visions was music, so the team installed a cutting-edge audio, visual and lighting system which is able to not only provide sound but also video tributes.

The burial park’s motto, at one with nature, has served as a strict guide throughout construction.

The 18 acres feature four peaceful and unique habitats - two distinct woodlands, a grassy glade, a woodland meadow and a wildflower meadow, which serves at the setting for the new build.

Mr Morton said sustainability had been a key priority throughout the 11-month construction project, with all work carried out by local contractors to reduce travel miles.

Underfloor heating for the building comes from a ground source heat pump, keeping mourners warm without damaging the environment.

The burial park’s dedication to being carbon neutral within the next 18 months has been a key draw for many people choosing the resting place.

On Wednesday, October 24, co-owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park Deb Jordan officially opened the hall, confirming its status as an eco oasis.

An official public viewing day will be held on Saturday, October 27, between 9am and 1pm.

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