Our vision is to create and protect a nature-rich woodland that eventually covers the entire site.

Memorial trees are planted on organised days in the late winter/early spring. Families who have arranged a burial in the preceding year are invited to choose a tree species and attend these days, when help will be available for those with less than green thumbs. If nobody is able to attend we will plant a tree on your behalf. Please indicate which species you would like on the ‘Application to Occupy’ or ‘Notice of Interment’.

Only trees sourced and supplied by us can be planted here. This is to ensure that all trees are of the correct provenance and are not garden hybrids or trees from foreign nurseries that could introduce disease to the area as has recently happened with Ash trees to the UK.

Creating a natural Planting trees and flowers at Eden Valley Woodland Burial Ground in Kent
Wildlife at Eden Valley Woodland Burial Ground in Kent

A healthy, managed woodland to encourage more species of flower, insect, bird and mammal.

We are not planting species that will become tall standard trees as this would mean that only one in 30 or so families could have a memorial tree. Instead we are planting species that grow to a shrub level.

This creates what is known as an ‘understory’ which is a secondary and very important layer of the woodland canopy. Some of the species planted in the understory will be coppiced on a regular cycle every ten years or so. This is a healthy way to manage the woodland that does not kill the trees, on the contrary, it prolongs their life and encourages far more species of flower, insect, bird and mammal into the woodland.

Any whips that fail to thrive will be replaced at our expense, larger saplings will have to be replaced by the family. Failure rate is low with the whips and slightly higher with larger saplings.

If a family prefer they can simply cover their plot with wild flowers or plants from permitted suppliers. Our staff will give you contact details for some excellent nurseries.

If a family prefer they can simply cover their plot with wild flowers or plants from permitted suppliers. Our staff can give you contact details of some excellent nurseries.

Trees

You can choose from the following Memorial Tree list­:

Memorial Tree Planting in Kent UK

Hazel – a nut producing shrub level tree. Loved by dormice and squirrels. Our number one choice and very typical of traditionally managed woodland in England. When mature, the Hazel will be coppiced. This not only produces useable forest products but means that the Hazel memorial trees will live a very long time potentially for hundreds of years.

This coppiced woodland also supports the highest diversity of wildlife and the cyclical felling and regrowth opens the woodland up, bringing warmth and light to the forest floor. This encourages flowers to flourish along with insects and bird life.

Holly – Evergreen and prickly. Providing greenery, berries and shelter in the winter months.

Spindle – A shrub with unusual and pretty pink, geometric shaped berries.

Guelder Rose – Not a rose but a Viburnum with wonderful autumn colour and shiny, bright red berries.

Crab Apple – A wild apple providing spring blossom and small colourful crab apples in autumn.

Wild Cherry – Another blossom producing tree. N.B cherry trees do not live very long (20-30 years only).

Yew – A slow growing evergreen with bright red berries. Loved by Thrushes but very poisonous. Traditionally grown in fenced churchyards to protect livestock.

Sweet Chestnut – Produces edible nuts and will be coppiced every few years.

Silver Birch – A short lived species that supports hundreds of insect species.

Flowers

Wildflowers at Eden Valley Woodland Burial Ground in Kent

Many families wish to inject some instant colour onto the burial plots. This is possible but has to be tightly controlled. Without guidance and regulations the land could be covered with non-native species and garden invaders, which could cross-pollinate and damage the natural status of the site. Advice and sources of permitted plants can be obtained from the staff.

Please do not spend money with nurseries who market ‘wildflowers’, they are unlikely to be of the right provenance and we may well have to remove these plants from the site.

Obviously, flowerbeds cannot be established and soils from elsewhere may not be spread over the graves. Flowers may not be tied to trees or stakes and vases may not be secretly sunk into the ground; they become death traps for small animals. Please ensure that your family and friends who may visit the grave understand this. We wish to avoid any upset.