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Bottesford farm given planning permission to create burial ground

A family-run farm has received approval to transform one of its fields into a natural burial ground.

Castle View Farm, in Easthorpe, Bottesford has received planning permission to create the burial ground on land to the east of Normanton Lane.

The family says the burial ground will include a wildflower meadow and provide a sustainable alternative to conventional burial and cremation options, without the formality and memorials of traditional cemeteries. Individual graves will not have traditional headstones but will be marked by discrete plaques or carvings within the meadow.

The Goodson family has permission to create a natural burial ground at its farm at Easthorpe, Bottesford. (47527740)
The Goodson family has permission to create a natural burial ground at its farm at Easthorpe, Bottesford. (47527740)

The farm is run by husband and wife James and Clair Goodson, with support from their children Emily and George.

The burial ground was the brainchild of daughter Emily, who studied Environment and Business at the University of Leeds and came up with the idea as a way to make use of the site while maintaining the landscape of the area and enhancing its biodiversity.

James, who works for property consultancy Fisher German, then enlisted Scott O’Dell from the firm’s planning team to bring the idea to life.

Emily, 21, said: “It’s at the top of a hill with beautiful views of the Vale of Belvoir so we were keen to ensure the natural features were not just maintained, but enhanced, which is when I suggested a natural burial ground.

“In terms of infrastructure, it will include a grid reinforced car park which will have grass growing through it to be sensitive to the surroundings, fencing, new hedgerows and trees, bird and bat boxes, hedgehog, bee and insect homes, bird feeding stations and the rest of the site will be transformed into a wildflower meadow.

“It’s one of the more unusual methods of diversification, providing an eco-friendly funeral option that is growing in popularity and significant benefits to the biodiversity and ecology of the area.

“It will also open up what is currently a private arable field so that people within our community can appreciate views in an area of land that they won’t have seen before, due to them being constrained to the public footpaths, or the circular permissive access we allow people to use.”

The site will open later this year with fencing and groundworks to start soon. The wildflower meadow will be planted in the summer and trees and hedges in the autumn.

Once open, the site will be available for pre-booking of plots and can accommodate up to 100 burials per year.

James said: “People are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment, and natural burial sites provide a sustainable alternative to the more conventional options available.

"The site will provide people of all faiths with a place where they can reflect and celebrate life, surrounded by stunning countryside views.

“We are extremely proud to see Emily’s idea come to fruition. It’s excellent when young people in farming families have ideas like this that they are able to take forward.”

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