New woodland burial site

The land at Helms Deep Farm which is to be turned into a woodland burial site.
The land at Helms Deep Farm which is to be turned into a woodland burial site.

A new woodland burial site is soon to be opened on a “beautiful and tranquil” Wyre farmland site.

Susan Gutierrez, who with husband Abel owns Helms Deep Farm in Long Lane, Barnacre-with-Bonds, decided to make an application for up to 2,000 plots, having considered her own mortality after a stroke.

The 48-year-old said: “We’ve got 30 acres of land here, and the way farming is today it’s not enough to make a sustainable living.

“We also have an alpaca farm, which doesn’t need the whole 30 acres.

“A few years ago I had a stroke and, as you do, I started to think about my own death, and that I’d like to be buried on the farm.

“That’s no problem for family, but then I thought that other people might also want to be buried in such a beautiful and tranquil location.”

Susan’s research lead her to contact the Natural Death Centre and the idea grew.

Wyre Council has now granted permission for one hectare of land to be used as a woodland burial site, and Susan has planted 3,500 native trees to form a woodland.

She said: “When the grave is finished we will sow native seeds on the ground and it will form a meadow that won’t be cut until September.

“People have the option of planting a tree for a loved one, or they can use a trig point to find a grave from a master map we have. Microchips are also now being used to locate a point in the ground where the grave is.

“It’s a very, very pretty site, with one side looking at the race track, and it also has views over to Blackpool Tower and to Morecambe Bay.

“And what’s different with a natural burial ground like this is that once someone is buried that is it forever. It’s not like some graveyards that renew a plot after 50 years. When this plot is full it will then become a nature reserve.”

The site will be ready for an official opening around September when a hard core and grass car parking site is developed.