Green cemetery planned for AONB

AN Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty could become host to a special kind of graveyard.Land at Moorhouse Farm, in Dedham, has been proposed as a countryside cemetery dedicated to people of all religions - or none.

By Roddy Ashworth

AN Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty could become host to a special kind of graveyard.

Land at Moorhouse Farm, in Dedham, has been proposed as a countryside cemetery dedicated to people of all religions - or none.

The sloping, 14-acre site, between the old Stratford Road and Coals Oak Lane, would still retain the outward appearance of a flower meadow, Peter Moorhouse, the man behind the project, said yesterday.


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The gravestones would lie flat on the ground, instead of the more traditional upright position.

There would be a special area for people to plant trees in memory of their loved ones and another part for the scattering of ashes.

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There would be parts dedicated to all religions and also an area which would be consecrated by the Church of England.

“My thoughts were prompted to the idea of a green cemetery because Dedham cemetery, by the church, is nearly full up.

“The area is increasing in popularity and this would give people a larger choice of places to go.

“It is a nice field. It overlooks the valley, and you can see two churches. There is a huge oak tree in the middle and it would have wild flowers in it.

“It is trying to give something to the community. I myself would be happy to be buried there because of the lovely vale.”

Mr Moorhouse added that normally in green cemeteries standard coffins were not used, and were instead replaced with wicker coffins or shrouds. “The idea is that it is closer to nature,” he said.

Christopher Garnett, Colchester Borough councillor for Dedham and Langham, said: “There would seem to be a need. Whether it is the right site or not only time will tell.

“Matters such as access and parking need to be considered very carefully, bearing in mind this is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is in a Countryside Conservation Area.”

A planning application for the green cemetery has been lodged with the borough council and will be considered by the borough's planning committee at a future date.

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