Cathedral of Trees to become green burial ground

The Cathedral of Trees
The Cathedral of Trees

The city’s tranquil Cathedral of Trees is to be used as a green burial ground.

The Parks Trust, which owns the land at Newlands, has been given planning permission to allow people to use the area as a final resting place for their loved ones.

The Cathedral of Trees is built from living trees and based on Norwich Cathedral. Designed in 1986 by landscape architect Neil Higson, it consists of different species of trees to represent the character of the Cathedral’s sections: hornbeam and tall-growing lime for the Nave, evergreens to represent the central tower and spires, flowering cherry and apple as a focus in the chapels.

The Trust intends the green burials to blend seamlessly with the natural environment of the Cathedral so only spring bulbs and meadow flowers will indicate the burial places.

No gravestones, markers or other mementoes will be allowed on the site, although memorial benches will be available.

Green burials will be offered at three areas – the Woodland Walk where ashes can be scattered above ground, the Cathedral Meadow and the Tree Cathedral itself where ashes can be scattered below ground or interred in an earthen grave.

Head of Community Engagement at The Parks Trust, Briony Serginson, said: “Over the years many people have asked us if they can scatter ashes or have memorials in our parks.

“We felt that the Cathedral of Trees, one of MK’s best kept secrets, would be an ideal place for this and that. If managed very carefully and sensitively, we can preserve its unique and special nature as a peaceful, natural haven.”

She added: “The Cathedral of Trees has been used regularly for services, blessings and gatherings and we think it is a very appropriate location for a loved one’s final resting place.

“Even though the Cathedral has been around for years it’s amazing how many people still haven’t visited it so we’d love to give it a sense of purpose and let more people discover just what a special place it is.”

The Trust expects green burials to be offered at the Cathedral of Trees by next summer.