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News & events

Keeping you up to date with all that’s going on at Clandon Wood

In this section we keep you up to date with news from Clandon Wood we think may be of interest or helpful and also details of all the events that are taking place in our pavilion and around the grounds during the year. For our latest nature related news click here to read Matt’s nature blog.

Posted:6th November 2020
Update: Managing through the coronavirus pandemic
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We are pleased to announce that following completion of a refurbishment programme our pavilion is now open for funeral services. Socially distanced seating will be arranged to accommodate a maximum of thirty mourners for each funeral service. The permitted number of mourners in the pavilion will vary taking account of individuals attending from the same household or support bubbles who may sit together. Graveside funerals will continue as usual with a maximum attendance of thirty mourners. This reflects the latest regulations issued by Public Health England on 5th November 2020. 

Our grounds and car park are open for attending a funeral, visiting a grave and taking exercise around the nature reserve on your own or with one other person.

For funeral bookings (burials or ash) and burial or ash plot sales for immediate or future need and to make appointments to select a plot we can be contacted by telephone (01483 479614) or e-mail (

The government is encouraging live webcasting of funerals and our service has been popular since we launched it in May. Webcasting is available for services in the pavilion and for those taking place graveside. For details please click here.

In line with the latest Public Health England guidance and advice from the Institute of Cemetery and Crematoria Management attendance at funeral services may include: 

  • close family members and friends (including individuals who are considered extremely vulnerable or are self-isolating)
  • the person officiating at the funeral service; and
  • the funeral director and bearers (your funeral director will advise you on this point).

All those attending a funeral should be informed of any persons attending who are considered extremely vulnerable or are self-isolating.

We would remind visitors attending funerals both in the pavilion and graveside that they are required to maintain a distance of two metres from all those of a different household.

In order to adequately protect mourners and Clandon Wood staff from coronavirus those who have the virus or symptoms of it are not permitted to attend a funeral at Clandon Wood.

The pavilion and its furniture will be cleaned and sanitised using electrostatic spraying before and after each funeral service. Prior to entering the pavilion everyone will be required to sanitise their hands and have their temperature checked and if it is above the normal range they will not be allowed entry. Use of our live webcasting service will, however, enable mourners who are not permitted to attend in person to view remotely those funeral services which have taken advantage of the facility. Face masks must also be worn when attending an indoor funeral service unless an individual is exempt for health, disability or other reasons.

Our groundsmen continue their work of maintaining the grounds and preparing graves and we ask that to protect them from possible exposure to coronavirus visitors do not approach them.

We are keeping in close touch with the funeral director community and the trade organisations that represent our industry which, in turn, are in regular contact with the government. Through this process we are keeping fully up to date and compliant with the latest advice and directions provided by the government and our trade organisations in relation to coronavirus. 

We trust you appreciate that these measures are intended to protect the health and wellbeing of those attending funerals and our staff. We can assure you that during these unprecedented times we continue to make every effort to support the bereaved and maintain the same high levels of service.

Thank you for your understanding and we will keep you informed of any changes to the current arrangements as set out above.

This advice supersedes all previous announcements made by us relating to use of Clandon Wood during the period of restrictions for coronavirus.

Posted:20th October 2020
Clandon Wood wins UK’s Best Natural Burial Ground Award for second year in a row
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Clandon Wood, the country burial & ash interment ground and nature reserve located in West Clandon, near Guildford, is delighted to announce it has won the Gold Award as Best Natural Burial Ground in the UK in the 2020 Cemetery of the Year Awards.

This is the second year in a row it has achieved this prestigious title following similar success in 2019 and the fifth national award as a best natural burial ground with previous awards in 2014 and 2015 (two awards won that year).

The Cemetery of the Year award has been made by The Memorial Awareness Board (MAB) which has been promoting and organising the awards for nearly 20 years.

CW -  Team holding CYA Award 2020
Pictured left to right: Gareth Herd (Head Groundsman), Christina Lawson (Operations Manager), Simon Ferrar (Founder of Clandon Wood) and Matt Phelps (Ecology Groundsman).

On receiving this national award Simon Ferrar, Clandon Wood’s founder commented:

“It is a delight to win this award as it truly endorses the concept of Clandon Wood to bring together nature and the cycle of life in a peaceful and tranquil environment where one can be laid to rest whatever your faith, belief or thinking and at the same time to provide an abundant and beautiful nature reserve for all to benefit from.”

Christina Lawson, Operations Manager of Clandon Wood, added:

 “It is most heartening for the team at Clandon Wood to have received this award, particularly during the current coronavirus pandemic which has brought a whole range of unique circumstances we have had to adapt to and work around in order to continue to deliver the high levels of service and support we always aim for.

“Being able to take advantage of our beautiful natural setting with outdoor services has made a tremendous difference to many final farewells and has also allowed us to have up to 30 people in attendance, which has been a real blessing for many bereaved families in these very challenging times.”

Philip Potts of the Memorial Awareness Board said;

“The awards are an excellent opportunity to reward hard-working staff and demonstrate the central role Natural Burial Grounds can play in the community. They provide places of peaceful contemplation and beauty, as well as their ecological importance.

“The team at Clandon Wood performed exceptionally throughout the extensive judging period which is focused on Industry Standards, Environmental Issues and Good Practice.”

And here is the coverage we were also delighted to receive in The Woking News and Mail.

Working News and Mail
Posted:18th May 2020
Ensure no one misses a funeral at Clandon Wood by using our live webcast service.
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With current Government guidelines limiting the number of people allowed to attend a funeral we are pleased to announce the launch of our own live web casting service for funeral services held in the pavilion and also for outdoor graveside services so that family and friends unable to attend a Clandon Wood funeral in person can do so remotely from their own homes.

Simple ‘one click’ access enables funeral services to be easily viewed and heard ‘live’ on our YouTube channel using a PC, tablet or mobile phone. Access is via a unique internet link for each funeral which can be notified in advance by e-mail or text to those who wish to attend remotely. Only those with access to the unique link will be able to view the funeral.

The funeral can be made available as a recording so that, for example, relatives and friends living overseas or those in a residential home who may not be able to view the service when it takes place can do so at a time convenient to them. 

To view an example of an outside webcast please click on the image below:

Demo of live outdoor webcast service

video preview

If you are interested in using this service please contact us by calling 01483 479614 or by e-mail at

Posted:17th January 2020
Dates for your diary for 2020
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Listed below are dates for events taking place at Clandon Wood during the 2020 that may be important or of interest to you:

26th Jan 2020

10:30 - 13:00

Tea, Cake & Company

23rd Feb 2020

10:30 - 13:00

Tea, Cake & Company

22nd March 2020

10:30 - 13:00

Tea, Cake & Company

12th April 2020

10:00 - 12:00

Easter Sunday

26th April 2020

10:30 - 13:00

Tea, Cake & Company

24th May 2020

10:30 - 13:00

Tea, Cake & Company

30th May 2020

10:00 - 16:00


21st June 2020

10:30 - 13:00

Tea, Cake & Company and Fathers' Day

2nd July 2020

17:00 - 20:00

Guildford Fringe Production at Clandon Wood

3rd July 2020

17:00 - 20:00

Guildford Fringe Production at Clandon Wood

11th July 2020

17:00 - 20:00

Guildford Fringe Production at Clandon Wood

19th July 2020

12:00 - 16:00

Clandon Wood Family Day & Music in the Meadows (Guildford Fringe)

26th July 2020

10:30 - 13:00

Tea, Cake & Company

16th Aug 2020


Due to Prudential London Ride Event

30th Aug 2020

10:30 - 13:00

Tea, Cake & Company

27th Sep 2020

10:30 - 13:00

Tea, Cake & Company

25th Oct 2020

10:30 - 13:00

Tea, Cake & Company

29th Nov 2020

10:30 - 13:00

Tea, Cake & Company

13th Dec 2020

10:30 - 13:00

Christmas at Clandon

Bank Holidays

10:00 - 14:00

Except Easter Sunday

Posted:4th July 2019
Surrey Advertiser article ‘Clandon Wood: The Savoy of Burial Grounds’
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We thought you might enjoy this article written towards the end of last year by Tom Johnson of the Surrey Advertiser which he titles ‘Clandon Wood: The Savoy of Burial Grounds’. This was written following Tom being given a tour of the grounds by our on-site team who explained the ethos that underpins Clandon Wood and why the combination of being a both cemetery and a nature reserve is a very natural and appropriate one.

Click here to view article.

Posted:2nd July 2019
Guildford Fringe Festival comes to Clandon Wood during July
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This is now our 5th year supporting the local community within the Guildford Fringe Festival.

Following the sell-out success of these events last year the Creaction Theatre Company will be performing Two One Act Plays by Alan Bennett:  ‘A Bed Among  The Lentils’ and ‘Say Something Happened’ and Jean McConnell’s series of playlets entitled ‘Deckchairs’.  This will be followed by one of our favourite annual events, Music in the Meadows providing a relaxing afternoon of live music performed by young musicians from the Academy of Music in Guildford and other local talented performers. And to bring the Festival at Clandon Wood to a close Shakespeare’s Wanderers will perform a charming new take on Much Ado About Nothing.  Details are as follows:

Thursday 4th July –  Deckchairs by Jean McConnell -

Friday 5th July - Two one act plays by Alan Bennett -

Thusday 11th July – Two one act plays by Alan Bennett -

Friday 12th July  –  Deckchairs by Jean McConnell -

Sunday 21st July  - Music in the Meadows  -  - Entrance is free for this event

Sunday 28th July – Much Ado About Nothing -

Tickets for the plays cost £10.00-£15.00 plus fees and there will be refreshments and a cash bar including beer, wine, sparkling wine and soft drinks. Booking details can be found at :

Free Entrance Events - We kindly ask for donations at these events in support of The Brigitte Trust - a Dorking based charity that serves all of Surrey offering free emotional support and practical help at home to people and their families facing cancer, MND, MS, heart and lung failure and other life-threatening illness.

Posted:18th June 2019
Dates for your diary until the end of 2019
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Listed below are dates for events taking place at Clandon Wood during the rest of 2019 that may be important or of interest to you:

23rd June 2019

12:00 – 16:00

Summer Fair

30th June 2019

10:30 – 13:00

Tea, Cake and Company

4th July 2019

19:30 – 21:30

Guildford Fringe at Clandon Wood: Deckchairs by Jean McConnell

5th July 2019

19:30 – 21:30

Guildford Fringe at Clandon Wood: Two One Act plays by Alan Bennett

11th July 2019

19:30 – 21:30

Guildford Fringe at Clandon Wood: Two One Act plays by Alan Bennett

12th July 2019

19:30 – 21:30

Guildford Fringe at Clandon Wood: Deckchairs by Jean McConnell

21st July 2019

14:00 – 17:00

Music in the Meadows at Clandon Wood

28th July 2019

10:30 – 13:00

Tea, Cake and Company

28th July 2019

15:00 – 17:00

Guildford Fringe at Clandon Wood: Much Ado About Nothing

4th August 2019


Due to Prudential London Ride Event

25th August 2019

10:30 – 13:00

Tea, Cake and Company

29th September 2019

10:30 – 13:00

Tea, Cake and Company

27th October 2019

10:30 – 13:00

Tea, Cake and Company

24th November 2019

10:30 – 13:00

Tea, Cake and Company

15th December 2019

10:30 – 13:00

Christmas Remembrance

Posted:17th June 2019
Join us to watch the sun rise on Midsummer’s morning followed by a gong bath.
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We will be watching the sun rise over the East Meadow on Midsummer’s morn on Friday 21st June. You are very welcome to come and join us at the pavilion at 3.30am ready to greet the sun on the longest day of the year. Bring a flask of coffee!

For those who then wish to refresh themselves with the sounds of a vibrational ‘gong bath’ at 5.30am. Please call Simon Ferrar on 07870 518292 to book a place for the gong bath.

Posted:13th June 2019
Clandon Wood Summer Fair – Sunday 23rd June 2019 – 12.00pm to 4.00pm
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A wonderful afternoon out where adults and children alike will be able to enjoy this haven of nature set in the surrounds of The Surrey Hills.

In celebration of our 7th official anniversary you are invited to our Art & Crafts Open Day - in collaboration with Handpicked for Dorking. Visitors will be able to experience the peace and tranquillity amongst the flora and fauna of Clandon Wood's natural environment and glass pavilion - refreshments will be available with nature tours and selected local businesses offering handmade art and crafts.

Entrance to the event is free, and there is ample parking on site. Join us from 12 - 4pm. Dogs welcome - must be kept on a short lead Live music from Will & Chris - acoustic duo - FORGET THE DJ. A prize draw will also be held in aid of the Brigitte Trust.

Posted:5th February 2019
Clandon Wood is thrilled to present a unique full-length production of Bizet’s Carmen on Sunday 5th May 2019
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Transforming the beautiful glass pavilion at Clandon Wood into an intimate in-the-round performance space, Rogue Opera's cast of six singers and pianist bring you the drama of Bizet's most famous opera, up close and personal.

Set against some of the most recognisable music in opera, this drama is a serious and still-relevant examination of violence, obsession and the struggle of a complex and spirited woman striving for independence and choice in life and love.

Rogue Opera’s fully staged intimate production is sung in French with English surtitles. The cast strip away the pomp and pageantry to present a raw and intimate piece of theatre.

The audience is close enough to experience the blood, sweat and tears and to feel the vibration of every note, Bizet’s thrilling and captivating music is raw, powerful and intimate.

The talented cast and creative team are all professionals with backgrounds including Longborough Festival Opera, Royal Opera House Chorus, English National Opera Chorus, Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and all perform regularly as soloists throughout the UK and Europe.

All profits from the event benefit The Brigitte Trust - a charity which supports people in Surrey at the end of life in their own homes, offering practical and emotional support and respite to carers and family.

There are only 70 seats available for this unique and intimate performance so please book your places as seats are selling fast.

Tickets are only £49

3:45 pm - Pavillion opens*

4:15 pm - First half of Carmen

5:30 pm - Interval - Drinks with Brigitte Trustees

6:10 pm - Second half of Carmen

7:00 pm - Opera concludes - bar open until 8:00 pm for Sunset post-show drinks

* Complimentary Tea and Coffee and will be served, with a cash bar available

Posted:27th April 2018
Join us to hear our own nature blogger Matt talk about the world of moths at Clandon Wood this Sunday
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Come along to our Spring quarterly nature talk on Sunday 29th April starting at 12.00pm, lasting 30 minutes and followed by questions and answers.  The talk forms part of April’s Tea, Cake & Company drop-in which takes place between 11.30am and 2.00pm.

The talk will be given by Matt , our groundsman, ecologist and avid nature blogger and will provide an inspiring and intriguing insight into the lives of the surprisingly large number of varieties of moth that make Clandon Wood their home.

Comprising 31 acres of beautiful natural English traditional hay meadowland Clandon Wood, represents nearly 1% of all such meadowland left in the UK and this environment supports an increasingly rare mix and diverse range of wildlife.

Posted:13th April 2018
Dates for your diary until the end of 2018
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Listed below are dates for events taking place at Clandon Wood during the rest of 2018 that may be important or of interest to you:

29th April 2018

11:30 – 14:00

Tea, Cake and Company

29th April 2018

12:00 – 13.00

Wildlife Talk

27th May 2018

11:30 – 14:00

Tea, Cake and Company

18th June 2018

11:30 – 14:30

Fathers' Day; wildflower seeds planting

24th June 2018

11:00 – 16:00

Summer Celebration and 5th Anniversary

29th July 2018

11:30 – 14:00

Tea, Cake and Company

29th July 2018

12:00 – 13.00

Wildlife Talk

26th August 2018

11:30 – 14:00

Tea, Cake and Company

30th September 2018

11:30 – 14:00

Tea, Cake and Company

27th–31st October 2018

All day

Pumpkin Festival

28th October 2018

11:30 – 14:00

Tea, Cake and Company

28th October 2018

12:00 – 13.00

Wildlife Talk

25th November 2018

11:30 – 14:00

Tea, Cake and Company

16th December 2018

11:30 – 14:00

Christmas Remembrance

Posted:27th March 2018
Our Easter opening and closing hours
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Over the Easter bank holiday weekend our opening hours are as follows: Good Friday
11am – 3pm
11am – 3pm
Easter Sunday
11am – 3pm
Bank Holiday Monday
11am – 3pm

Posted:2nd March 2018
Join us to commemorate Mother’s Day On Sunday 11th March 2018 with a free plant in the meadows – from 11.30 am to 2.30pm
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Clandon Wood is offering free indigenous plant plugs for families to plant in the meadows.

No need to bring any gardening tools as all you need to do is make a hole using your thumb.

This will be on a first come first served basis so please come early to avoid any disappointment.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the office via telephone, email or by popping in to see us.

Posted:18th January 2018
Join us to learn about the wildlife community that chooses to make our nature reserve its home
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Come along to our quarterly nature talk on Sunday 28th January starting at 12.00pm, lasting 30 minutes and followed by questions and answers. All welcome whether or not you have a connection with Clandon Wood. The talk forms part of January’s Tea, cake & company drop-in which takes place between 11.30am and 2.00pm.

This quarterly talk will be given by Gareth Hurd, our Head groundsman and ecology expert and will be combined with video clips of Clandon Wood’s wildlife captured over the last year.

Comprising 33 acres of beautiful natural English traditional hay meadowland Clandon Wood represents nearly 1% of all such meadowland left in the UK, an environment which supports an increasingly rare mix and diverse range of wildlife.

Gareth will explain how this type of natural environment is a godsend for fauna, including some rare and unusual species, the contribution the wildlife community makes to the ecological balance of the nature reserve and how our team goes about creating and maintaining an attractive habitat for the many forms of life that choose to make Clandon Wood their home. Gareth’s deep and inspiring knowledge of wildlife and ecology will ensure a captivating talk.

Posted:19th December 2017
OPEN ALL HOURS – our Christmas and New Year opening times
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We are pleased to let you know the office will be staffed and the car park will be open during the following hours over the festive season.

Saturday 23rd December 201711am-3pm
Sunday 24th December 201711am-2pm
Monday 25th December 201711am-1pm
Tuesday 26th December 201711am-1pm
Wednesday 27th December 20179am-4pm
Thursday 28th December 20179am-4pm
Friday 29th December 20179am-4pm
Saturday 30th December 201711am-3pm
Sunday 31st December 201711am-3pm
Monday 1st January 201811am-1pm

Please note the pedestrian gate is open 365 days a year

Posted:21st November 2016
More Swedish visitors check up on the best natural burial
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Leif Lidholm, Manager of the Parish Cemeteries in Falkoping, a town in western Sweden about 75 miles from Gothenburg, the second city of Sweden visited Clandon Wood Burial Ground with a study group of thirty people from the Department of Cemeteries and Property Management.

The study tour took the group to a variety of cemeteries all around London. Their areas of interest were the various approaches to burials in the UK from the traditional to the natural burial. There are very few green or natural burial sites in Sweden which meant that Clandon Wood was of particular interest as an award winning burial place.

Christina Lawson, our Manager, who is Swedish, started the tour with a short presentation in the pavilion describing the concept and success of Clandon Wood as both a burial place and a nature reserve.

She was joined by our Head Groundsman, Gareth Hurd who took the group on a tour of our two meadows to view our approach to maintaining them whilst promoting wildlife.

They answered a variety of questions from how we arranged funerals, to the management and care of the site. The group had many questions and was especially interested in the traditional way the meadows were looked after, the continuing care we offer families and advice offered on end of life planning.

Hopefully Leif Lidholm and his group will be able to incorporate what they have learnt in their development plans for new natural burial sites in Sweden.

Posted:24th March 2016
At half mast
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As Belgium mourns we can again do little but show sympathy to our European neighbours and respect for those who died in the attacks in Brussels.

Posted:15th March 2016
Maybe the other balloon released at a funeral in January reached Sweden
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As part of their study tour of English church yards and burial sites Chief of Department Anna- Karin Helgesson accompanied by her assistant Rebecca Svensson and twenty five other people from the Parish Cemetery Management in Vasteras the sixth largest city in Sweden (which is 60 miles west of Stockholm) visited Clandon Wood Natural Burial Ground yesterday .

Clandon Wood Business Manager Simon Ferrar and Senior Groundsman Gareth Hurd conducted a tour around the meadows and facilities and answered the many questions on the visitors’ interests in finding out how an award winning natural burial ground is operated and the practical work caring and maintaining the meadows , horticulture and wildlife as well as the important work of caring for families of the bereaved and advising of end of life planning.

Anna- Karin Helgesson and her compatriots will be taking back our experiences so that they can guide their discussions and decisions on how to care for burial sites and funeral planning in the future in Sweden.

Posted:7th March 2016
Clandon Wood news from Norway
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At a burial at Clandon Wood on a very windy day at the end of January, two young children each launched a tagged balloon as part of the ceremony of remembrance of their beloved departed Grandmother.

Just the following day they received a message back from Norway to say that one of the balloons had landed there – a distance of 1100km. So the ceremony was broad cast far and wide in express time!

Posted:5th August 2015
The Mayor of Guildford raises our Green Flag at Clandon Wood
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The Mayor of Guildford, Councillor Nikki Nelson-Smith visited Clandon Wood Natural Burial ground to officially celebrate the award of the Green Flag for this year 2015/2016 and raised the flag on our entrance flagpole.

The award handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy recognizes and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country.

A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

We are also proud to have won the 2015 Bees Needs Award (supported by DEFRA and the National Pollinator Strategy) for providing food and a home for pollinating insects.

Why not visit Clandon Wood Natural Burial and see for yourself and experience the peace, the fauna and the flora on our Surrey Hills reserve.

Posted:15th July 2015
Music in the meadow event Guildford Fringe 2015
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On Sunday 12 July 2015 Clandon Wood was fortunate to be invited as one of the ten extraordinary venues to host productions for Guildford Fringe 2015 which features diverse music, comedy and drama events throughout the month of July.

The sun was shining all week long leading up to Sunday and then we were threatened with rain for the whole event.

Although cloudy but warm, the rain fortunately gave way to sunshine just at the last minute as our first act began.

Initially deterred by the weather, only a scattering of visitors were actually in place for the 2pm start but when the sun came out more. and more people arrived, laden with picnic baskets, chairs and rugs. Eventually over one hundred people enjoyed the rich annd mellow sounds of our guest performers.

All the musicians played on the deck of our beautiful glass pavilion to the relaxed but enthusiastic audience and everyone commented upon the calm and affable atmostphere.

Performers all gave their time freely for the benefit of the Cherry Trees Respite Care Home for children and young people who are our neighbours in East Clandon.

A huge thank you to our seven acts who were;

Guitarist and folk singer Majella Yorston-

Guitarist and singer Mike Brown –

17 year old saxaphonist Daniel Garel –

Mike Tuchy

14 year old singer-guitarist Esmee Etwell

17 year old guitarist-song writer Cara Mahon - Youtube Video

Rosie Butler on violin

Our thanks also to for supplying the liquid refreshments – the firefly is a licensed musical venue in the heart of Guildford

Our guests were very generous in their participation and their applause. Their donations along with voluntary donations and the proceeds of the raffle raised over £380 on the day for the Cherry Trees Respite Care Home.

Posted:9th June 2015
Midsummer day – Sunday June 21st
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On Midsummer Day – Sunday June 21st – Father’s Day we will be watching the sun rise over the East meadow with a special ceremony hosted by Emma Curtis.

You are very welcome to come and join us at the pavilion at 4.15am ready to greet the sun on the longest day of the year. Bring a flask of coffee!!

Later the same day you can come and make flower mandalas and garlands, or write messages of remembrance on paper leaves to hang on an oak bough.

Our lovely face painter Karen will also be joining us, so come along for a lovely reflective and hopefully sunny day on the anniversary of the official opening of Clandon Wood.

Posted:2nd June 2015
Woodland burials dedicate the Green Belt to green burials
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excerpt from The Times, 22nd May 2015

“This week I went to a woodland burial ……. at Clandon Wood in Surrey, voted Cemetery of the Year at the Good Funeral awards.

For a start, traditional cemeteries are overflowing: London’s are expected to be full up in 20 years, a deadline I hope to miss. But if you ever attend a burial in a natural setting you won’t want it any other way.

We followed the wicker coffin, which swished the meadow grass as it was pulled on a cart. we scattered rosemary and flowers on the shallow grave, which will soon be covered with plants again. The rirtual felt deeply English: a certain lack of sentiment and the comfort we took , as we cried our tears, in our native soil.

One mourner had a daughter in law my age who was buried there: her children love to come here to pond – dip and climb her tree.

Body sowing is a perfect use of the green belt. Death would protect it : a place to visit and not to destroy.”

Posted:8th March 2015
Mothering Sunday – 15th March
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It’s official; spring is well and truly on the way. It’s wonderful to see the snowdrops out, the crocuses appearing and that lovely yellow flower, the daffodil making an appearance, together with some slightly warmer days and a few bees gradually emerging.

Of course, the onset of spring also means that Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday, whichever one you refer to, is also almost upon us.

Mother’s Day, or Mothering Sunday as it is known in the UK and Ireland is traditionally a day to show our love and appreciation to the many and wonderful mother’s around the world. The ancient Greeks and Romans both celebrated Mother’s Day dating back as far as 250BC, so it’s been around for a very long time and not just something invented by florists and card manufacturers.

In the UK and Ireland Mothering Sunday has traditionally been celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent since the 16<sup>th</sup> century. In other countries around the the world such as the USA where they celebrate Mother’s Day as opposed to Mothering Sunday, it takes place on the second Sunday in May. In one or two countries it’s held on International Women’s Day, which is always on the 8<sup>th</sup> March.

Regardless of the date, we all acknowledge that Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday depending on what part of the world you live in is an important day for us all. It can also be a poignant and difficult time for those who have lost their mother’s or in deed for those mothers who have lost their children. In that situation it is likely to be a day for quiet reflection rather than one of a celebration.

Flowers are of course an important symbol associated with Mothering Sunday and this year we are inviting families to come and join us for a bulb – planting spree. We are creating a bulb walkway on site and felt that this special day would make in ideal occasion for us to get started.

We understand how hard these landmark days can sometimes be so come and join us to plant some bulbs and for a cup of tea and a friendly chat. Come and join us from 11am to 3pm. We know how special our mother’s are.

Posted:7th December 2014
Funeral poetry and tributes for a loved one
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Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to say at a funeral. Do you read a poem, talk about the person that has died, play a song in their memory? Many funerals include all three and may start with a special poem. If you would like to read a poem which one should you choose and where can you find some inspiration? We hope that the links and poems here will provide you with some help.

Poetry is often read out at funerals and at Clandon Wood, we have heard a variety from the slightly obscure to the more popular. Each one has been chosen with care and it is a lovely way to say goodbye to a loved one or a dear friend. There are many wonderful poems around whatever your faith or beliefs, modern or traditional there is something for everyone. We have provided a small selection for you here including one from our very own Fran Hall whose poem was recently read out at a funeral here. We hope you like it, we think it’s quite special.

If you are searching for further inspiration there are some great websites around that offer suggestions such as Lasting Post and Funeral Helper.

Another brilliant website is the Much Loved Charity, in addition to providing you with ideas for readings and poetry it provides you with the opportunity to create an online tribute to the person you have lost. It’s easy to set up a tribute page and then you can invite friends and family to add photos, words, music even video to the site you have created so that you can share memories and special moments with all who knew the person. It is an entirely free service that provides you with an avenue to express your feelings and can help all of those who have been affected by the loss.

Under a Soft Blanket of Fallen Leaves by Fran Hall

Under a soft blanket of fallen leaves,
safe in the hush of the whispering trees
I have come home.
My time here on earth is now done,
all the noise and the clamour, the joy and the pain,
the powerful life force that drove me onwards
has slipped away into the quiet of eternity,
and I am at peace.

From now on, I will dance through your memories
threading thoughts of love through your heart.
The pain of loss will gradually ease, and the sadness will lift.
the days will be lighter, and the nights not so long,
for I am still here.

When you walk through this place, you will feel me
in the gentle touch of the breeze on your face,
in the sunlight dappling the forest floor,
in the murmur of the branches high above you,
I am all around.

I have returned to the place from whence I came,
to the elements that created me.
The earth that gave me the life I so loved
has now welcomed me back to her,
to be at one with all her beauty.
Here, under my blanket of fallen leaves
I have found my resting place.
I have come home.

Copyright Fran Hall


I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.


Do not stand at my grave and weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.

Mary Frye, American poet (1904 – 2004)

He is not lost our dearest love

He is not lost our dearest love,
Nor has he travelled far,
Just stepped inside home’s loveliest room
And left the door ajar.


Death Is Nothing At All

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away into the next room,
I am I, and you are you,
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still,
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the same easy way which you always did,
Put no difference into your tone;
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect, without the shadow of a ghost on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity,
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am just waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.

Henry Scott Holland

We will be running a poetry competition in the New Year. If you would like to take part please keep an eye on our website for further details.

Posted:11th October 2014
The sound of music
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What music would you like played at your funeral?

The dilemma of what music to chose for a funeral can often be quite a task for some families. Choosing exactly the right music that you feel is suitable for the person that has died can be tricky, especially if more that one of you is trying to make the choice. Keep it simple. You don’t need anything too complex or indeed too long. If you are choosing a hymn or song for everyone to sing to, make sure it’s something the congregation will know – or if you have the finances or appropriate friends, get a choir to join in.

People often ask, “How much music should we have?” Many choose something for the start, a piece in the middle for quiet reflection, and a piece at the end. At the end of the day it’s your choice but you might also want to consider those who will also be attending the funeral. Aunt Joan, may not know the words to ‘Bat out of Hell,’ by Meatloaf and you may not give two hoots that she doesn’t but if a number of elderly friends and family relatives are attending you might want to consider another option unless you are happy singing it on your own!

Sometimes there are disagreements about what might be deemed appropriate or inappropriate depending on the age of the person that has died and also that of the family members left behind. Unless you are really organised, have booked a funeral plan and written out your last wishes, including your music choices, then it’s the rest of the family who makes that choice. So, if you really hate the very idea that your funeral will start up to the sound of ‘Dancing Queen by ABBA,’ (a perfect choice for some) or ‘The Flight of the Bumblebee,’ by Rimsky Korsakov, (very appropriate for a place like Clandon Wood, positively buzzing with bees this year,) then discuss it with your family first and write it down in your funeral wishes.

Basically anything goes with music. There are no hard and fast rules. At Clandon Wood we hear all sorts of wonderful music played at funerals. ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow, ‘ is a popular choice and we have also heard ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,’ a few times. Live music and choirs are also very welcome and sound wonderful. There are plenty of talented musicians out there who will play and or sing something lovely and it need not cost a fortune. You could probably find someone to play the guitar and sing a favourite song for £75 upwards.

Most places these days will play music at a funeral usually in the form of a CD or transferred to a laptop via a USB memory stick or on a music platform like iTunes. It’s advisable to provide original CD’s as some copied ones will not always play on a system. At Clandon Wood we like to receive the music at least 3 days before hand so that we can check everything works properly and ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day. It’s important to let whoever is playing the music know what order you wish to have everything in. This is often mentioned in an Order of Service.

We also have a projector screen in our glass pavilion and can play slide shows as part of the service. This works better in Power Point format or a file of images together that can be played as a continuous slide show on a laptop. You can also give these to us on a USB memory stick or if you have the technical know how you can send it to us over the Internet via DropBox. Again it’s essential that we receive this at least two or three days in advance to give us time to check everything is working properly.

Fore some useful tips and advice on funeral music check out this great website Final Fling.


Please come and join us on the last Sunday of every month for tea and cakes

Find out more >>

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.