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Founder’s blog

Thoughts  and musings from our Founder, Simon Ferrar

Through the understanding and development of Clandon Wood I have become ever more committed to the development of sustainable and responsible green spaces which will improve and protect our natural landscapes for centuries to come, whilst also providing an essential and respectful human amenity where people are laid to rest. And my blog posts will express my thoughts and musings on and around this subject area – a series of conversations on conservation if you like.

I will also from time to time be looking at and comparing the ecological factors and impacts associated with other ways of being laid to rest, which I hope will be useful to those of you looking to make a fully informed choice from an environmental standpoint.

I hope you enjoy reading my missives and I will always welcome and be grateful for any feedback.

Posted:1st October 2020
What strange times we are living in
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In this item I reflect on how positively bereaved families have adapted to having their loved ones’ funerals being held outside in our beautiful nature reserve and with only a limited number of mourners permitted to be in attendance. The approaches they have taken have been amazing and also very moving as I try to convey in this my second video blog. To watch just click on the arrow in the middle of the video image below.

Take care in these unusual times.

Simon Ferrar

Founder of Clandon Wood

Founder’s video blog – October 2020

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Posted:18th May 2020
Holding a funeral at Clandon Wood during the coronavirus pandemic
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It goes without saying that the current coronavirus pandemic is having a dramatic impact on all of us and in this, my first video blog, I discuss what we at Clandon Wood are doing to ensure we continue to offer dignity, respect and, importantly, time to say farewell to a loved one in light of the government’s understandable limitations placed on funerals. To view the video blog just click on the arrow at the centre of the screen shot below.

Founder’s video blog – May 2020’

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Posted:22nd January 2020
Hello and welcome to my first blog post
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Welcome to the first of my environmental musings – a conversation on conservation if you like!

Before any further ado, may I wish you all very happy and healthy 2020 and look forward to seeing you at one of our many family support or social events at Clandon Wood over the coming year – a complete list of events will be published soon.

In the coming months I will be sharing green issues that affect us within our sector but I am also interested in what is going on locally and in the wider community.

I would love your interaction with thoughts and ideas to any of my ruminations or any environmental initiatives going on in your area.

One question that I will be looking at over the coming months is just what impact our end of life decisions have on the environment.

We generally give scant attention to the most definite occurrence of our lives to the detriment of, not only the environment but also our family and friends.

My aim is to give everyone the facts of all their options and choices so that they can make informed decisions about their end of life arrangements. As a friend commented to me recently, we really should be looking at the ECost (Environmental) of funerals and not just the £Cost.

Just to round-off 2019, it was Clandon Wood’s most successful year so far in the recognition of its environmental and sustainability credentials. We were the winner of the Natural Cemetery of the Year Gold Award;  and won a Green Flag Award (for the sixth year running); were granted the Surrey Hills Gold Marque; won a Guildford in Bloom Best Site for Nature Conservation Gold Award; and last but not least we won the Surrey and Hampshire Biz Award for the best Green business.

I list these not so much to impress you – oh ok, just a little bit! - but to impress upon you, the importance of Clandon Wood’s landscape, primarily as a responsible and sustainable nature reserve. I say primarily because its sustainability is one of the keys to Clandon Wood’s long-term success and security. We aren’t sitting on our laurels though as there is always room for improvement, so we will be having an environmental audit carried out on our business at Clandon Wood to see where we can improve.

It is estimated that there are between 250 and 300 natural burial grounds in the UK (I will be striving to find out the exact number) and they all differ greatly in their size, natural infrastructure and management regimes. They vary in size from just 1-2 acres up to 20-40 acres and bigger in a few cases. Many are in rural areas and many are on estates where farmers diversify with natural burial in areas of woodland or meadow. Many are also remotely managed with no on-site staff or shelter.

If you are considering a natural burial in your future plans please consider that for any natural burial ground to endure for future generations, it should have a planned, dual purpose (a nature reserve in Clandon Wood’s case) and have secure funds in place for the future when it is full. Our Natural Burial Trust Fund will ensure that Clandon Wood will be a Nature Reserve for centuries to come.

In my next blog  I’ll be looking at the environmental considerations associated with end of life choices other than natural burial -  and remember please do email me at with anything of environmental interest  to discuss!

Have a good month!

Simon Ferrar

Founder of Clandon Wood


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About tea, cake & company

At Clandon Wood we firmly believe that providing an environment for the bereaved is just as important as it is for those who have passed away. In this regard we hold a number of ‘aftercare’ events throughout the year for those left behind.

These include our monthly tea, cake and company drop ins which provide an opportunity for anyone who has been bereaved to be among and talk to others who share the experience of loss.

Held in our beautiful glass pavilion they take place from 10.30am to 1.00pm on the last Sunday of every month.

Simply drop in - whether or not you have a loved one at Clandon Wood, you will always be warmly welcomed with kindness, consideration and company.