Arabella Melville

My partner Colin and I both wanted to be buried in a local wood. We knew that others would feel the same way, so we bought the wood at Boduan and set up the Eternal Forest Trust. 

That was in 2004.  Now, he’s part of the wood – he died in 2017 – and I love to spend time there.  For his last 17 years, Colin was severely disabled and that informed our thinking about everything we did in the wood.  We were both Trustees since the foundation of the charity and I still help with practical things like tree-planting and burials but I’m much less involved than I used to be; I’m grateful that others have stepped up to take over the work.

Colin and I had been concerned about environmental issues since the 70’s and we were passionate advocates for organic growing and green building. We installed an air-to-air heat pump to heat the charity’s office in 2010 and always sought to re-use or recycle whatever we could. So I am particularly passionate about the charity’s environmental policy.

I love Boduan Sanctuary wood and am very happy to know that one day, I shall become part of it. But I have a lot to do before then – in particular, working towards establishing more natural burial grounds. Our initial dream, that every community should have access to an Eternal Forest, was undoubtedly grandiose but I still think it’s a lovely idea and it would be the perfect legacy for Colin.

Who we are