Connecting the Cycles of Life
Woodland burial means becoming literally part of the wood. In death, the body is transformed into new forms of life. The physical remains of the dead are gradually absorbed by microscopic life-forms in the soil; these pass the nutrients to fungi, which in turn feed the roots of the trees.
Forget the maggots and worms you’ve seen in horror films, there is nothing grotesque about what happens in the wood.
Throughout our lives, we build complex organic molecules to create flesh. These complex molecules become available to other life-forms after burial. Cremation is not environmentally friendly; it turns the proteins in the body into oxides of carbon and nitrogen, which go into the atmosphere to add to the problem of greenhouse gases. Natural woodland burial is part of the solution to our current eco-crisis.
Our ethos is respect for all life, understanding that all forms of life are linked together.
We recognise death as a natural part of life and regard death as the changing of the body into new forms of life. We support the bereaved and those who confront death by encouraging them to tune into the healing peace and harmony of the wood.
Care for people includes accepting people with physical, mental or financial limitations. It means allowing for differences between individuals, belief systems and cultures, and valuing creativity and learning. We ask only that people who come to the wood take care not to damage the environment or harm the life-forms that surround them.
Our methods are organic: we compost and recycle and avoid poisonous chemicals. We buy locally whenever possible, re-use what we can and limit the use of non-renewable resources. We seek to enhance biodiversity, celebrating the beauty and variety of Nature.
All these aspects of our Vision are reflected in the four Objects of the Charity, which, in summary, are:
1. Provision of amenity woodland for the public;
2. Education about native woodland;
3. Provision and maintenance of a green burial ground;
4. Succour for the bereaved.
We hope that in the long term, The Eternal Forest Trust will be able to propagate this vision, assisting other groups in setting up green burial grounds where trees and wildlife may enjoy sanctuary alongside people.