At Belsay, our vision is to create a beautiful woodland reserve and natural habitat for wildlife that serves as an enduring legacy and thoughtful memorial for those who have died.
Our woodland will be developed gradually and in harmony with the current ecosystem of the area by ensuring that only indigenous species of trees and flowers are planted. All trees must be sourced and supplied by us to ensure they are of the correct provenance and are not garden hybrids or trees from foreign nurseries that could introduce disease.
Choosing a Memorial Tree
Choose from larger species that will grow to be tall standards, like Oaks, or smaller trees, like hawthorns or acers that will create an ‘understory’ which is a secondary and very important layer of the woodland canopy.
All purchased memorial trees will be planted in the tree planting season (typically between mid-November to late-March) to allow the best chance of success, and families are welcome to participate. Each memorial tree will be guaranteed for 5 years from planting, during which time any failing tree will be replaced. All trees will be maintained by the Estate in accordance with good arboricultural practice and British Standards. For example, 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, but instead prolongs their life and encourages far more species of flower, insect, bird and mammal into the woodland.
Please follow this link for details of our memorial trees available.
Graves can be marked by a single memorial stone made from local slate or sandstone that must be laid flush to the ground. Such stones provide important habitats within a woodland. This must be purchased from, supplied and installed by Belsay Woodland Burials to ensure uniformity. Follow the link here or telephone the office on 01661 881206 for further information.