New woodland burial park is set to open in Lowestoft

Work takes place to prepare Gunton Woodland Burial Park for its opening.

Work takes place to prepare Gunton Woodland Burial Park for its opening. - Credit: Archant

The finishing touches to a new woodland burial park have been completed, with 14 large trees being planted close to the entrance.

Volunteers at Gunton Woodland Burial Park. Pictures: Supplied.

Volunteers at Gunton Woodland Burial Park. Pictures: Supplied. - Credit: Archant

Gunton Woodland Burial Park will open tomorrow (Friday, January 1), with its first interment of ashes booked for next Friday, January 8.

The 30-acre park was recently consecrated by the Bishop of Thetford.

It marks the end of the first phase of the project for Barry Shimmield, 83, who has worked tirelessly alongside other volunteers to plant a total of 6,600 trees.

It is hoped the site will provide space for about 500 burials over the next 10 years.

Mr Shimmield is on the advisory group for the Gunton Woodland Burial Trust and lives directly opposite the site.

'It has fulfilled many needs, as not only is it a place for burials and interment of ashes but a major extension of Gunton woodland,' he said.

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'It will complete the green arc around north Lowestoft from the Denes through Corton Wood, Gunton Wood and Foxburrow Wood, enabling it to function as an important wildlife corridor.

'There is still lots of ongoing work to do but it is the most wonderful place and a tremendous asset for Lowestoft.

The new woodland burial site has been created on a field adjacent to Gunton St Peter's Church as a solution to growing demand for burial plots and dwindling space at the area's traditional cemeteries.

It is the first natural burial park to be opened in the area of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, and one of the first in the country to be run by a non-profit making charity.

For more information, visit www.guntonwoodlandburial.co.uk

Are you organising a community project in Lowestoft or Southwold? Tell The Journal by calling 01502 525820 or email lowestoft.journal@archant.co.uk