There are very few examples in today's world where people are actively looking to help restore our environment, but here at Keysoe, that's exactly what we are doing. We are under no illusion that this will be a quick and easy job; this woodland is going to be evolving for generations to come.
Standing here today surrounded by acres and acres of arable land, it is hard to imagine that there used to a forest covering approximately 350 acres - primarily native Oak. Our aim, together with your help, is to restore this ancient woodland and to allow those that share our vision and concerns for the environment to rest here, in peace and tranquillity for all time. The latter is no simple feat especially as we will not be around to see the end result, so the Trust was formed and a 'protective, expanding umbrella' erected across the entire woodland. It is one of just two woodland burial sites in England to do this - called consecration - and no one can ever change the use of the land, build on it or do anything else unless Parliament agree to it. It is the most powerful level of protection afforded under English Law.
Our woodland burial site comprised initially of 2 acres of woodland, but from demand and enquiries it quickly became apparent that many more people shared our concerns than we could have possibly wished for. From its initial inception in 2007 we now have approximately 12 acres under active management and this will continue to expand with your support (through the purchase or reservation of burial plots, donations or just becoming one of our Woodland Friends.
So what does the future hold? A further 60 acres of woodland has been planted around us and this will ensure that we have plenty of established, young woodland to 'grow into'. Native trees are being introduced as a priority to support and sustain traditional eco-systems and offer much needed homes to local wildlife and fauna. We will continue to develop glades with their own individual style and characteristics and ensure the land is properly managed and maintained. Other facilities, in keeping with our 'green' stance, will be added for the benefit of visitors eg a woodland lodge.
The peace and tranquillity of the woodland is already evident and the ancient forest of tomorrow will be a wonder for our descendants to enjoy.