The Windmills Memorial shelter and bench are calming places to relax.

Northampton's first eco-friendly burial site opens in Northamptonshire with 2,000 plots

Jo and Neil Painter researched the practice of green burials in 2016 after they were inspired by the setting at Olney

By Carly Roberts
Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 9:29 am

A green burial service has opened this month in Ashton, near Roade, where loved ones can be laid to rest with a commemorative tree which will, in time, form part of a woodland.

The Windmills is a five acre plot of land, situated in the open countryside where the graves are designed to minimise the impact on the environment.

The field has 2,048 plots ready to become final resting places, which will be planted with wild flowers, trees or shrubs, instead of a headstone.

The Windmills, formerly a farmers field, gets it's name form the wind turbine setting and is designed with a wooden memorial area where special plaques with late loved ones names can be displayed.

Jo said: "We went to a few natural burials in Olney years ago and I was blown away with how beautiful they were and I had never been to a natural green burial before.

"For me I thought this is the exact thing I'd want when I pass, I lost my dad ten years ago and we had a humanist celebrant do his funeral and he would have loved somewhere like this.

"I think if you can offer families an alternative and give them a choice then you feel like you're doing your bit."

For a woodland burial, biodegradable coffin or caskets are used, usually made out of cardboard or wood, which naturally disintegrates.

Instead of burying a body at six feet underground, they will be lowered to just three, which speeds up the decomposition process and limits carbon emissions.

Urns can also be buried or ashes scattered in the wildflower meadow.

"The atoms and the decomposition feeds the tree roots, so it's all about the cycle of life," Jo, who is training to be a human celebrant, added.

"We started out and knew how we wanted to design it. We wanted to design it in a way where people could come and put picnic blankets down and sit on memorial benches, have a picnic, chill our and utilise the space as much as they can. The feedback has been incredible."

Talks are currently ongoing about hosting a marquee in the next field, designed for wakes.

To get in touch with The Windmills, email [email protected]

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