Bristol Memorial Woodland Trust is a registered charity (number 1082094). Set up in 2000 with the aim of creating and preserving woodland areas for public benefit. The vision being that these woodland areas, in turn, become wildlife reserves and that is already happening.
At present, the Trust holds or manages 100 acres of land in South Gloucestershire that is being transformed into public parkland, open to all and protected for the pleasure and benefit of future generations. The site will evolve into a mixture of woodland, glades and wildflower meadow. Study groups and seminars are encouraged. School parties and respite groups are welcome.
At its heart is a chapel and reception buildings, within a closed garden. These were originally a collection of Georgian Tannery buildings. They have become a regional centre for funerals and wakes where families are given time to say an unhurried farewell, in complete privacy, to their loved ones.
Memorial Woodlands has recognised that interment at burial is far better for the environment than cremation. Burial plots here provide a tranquil resting place, with trees planted nearby as a memorial, where families may gather in nature to reflect, to remember and celebrate the lives of their loved ones. Burials at Memorial Woodlands are helping to create this woodland, creating reserves for nature and helping the environment where before there existed only the monoculture of a dairy farm.
The planting of a commemorative tree is an ancient tradition. It is a symbol of continued life, strength and family connection. It gives relatives and friends a memorial to visit which they can enjoy watching as it changes over the seasons and years.
The Trust owns the topsoil of the site to a depth of one metre. This enables the Trust to manage and control the evolution of the site into the nature reserve intended. A place of public benefit, for both pleasure and education.
Bristol Memorial Woodland Trust owns all the trees and shrubs on the site and is solely responsible for planting and maintenance. Families may plant woodland and meadow bulbs and flowers to enhance the woodland further.