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Golf club woodland: site for burials?

8.57am 18th September 2015 - Courses

Studley Wood Golf Club
Studley Wood Golf Club

Part of a golf course could be turned into an area for burials under new plans unveiled by the owner, reports ‘The Oxford Times’.

GreenAcres Woodland Burials wants part of Studley Wood Golf Club in Horton-cum-Studley to be set aside for green burials and for ashes to be scattered.

Owner of the club Ken Heathcote said he has been working on the idea for four years, and approached staff at GreenAcres to see if they were interested.

The 56-year-old, who co-owns the club with Baljit Shergill, said: “There are 44 acres of golf club which are not used. It’s all beautiful woodland. It’s a natural place to be.

“The idea is that in the assembly hall the coffin is placed in front of a wall of glass which looks out onto the woodland. I’ve met a lot of people who have been to other sites and they said it gave them peace and tranquillity, that you might not get in a graveyard or church cemetery. It’s not morbid. There are no gravestones.”

If plans go ahead, graves will be marked with small wooden posts or wood carvings. The site will also welcome people of all beliefs and denominations. No cremations will take place but ashes can be buried or scattered on the site instead.

Mr Heathcote said having another business on the site would be beneficial to his club as well.

He said: “The golf club is 177 acres so it will really benefit us. It will be great having someone else to maintain the woodland too, to keep it beautiful. Obviously when I die I want to be buried there. I don’t want to be buried in Derbyshire where I come from. I want to be in a golf club. It means that you’re going back to nature.”

The development will bring at least three new jobs to the area as well as an increase in burial space. Mr Heathcote said if the plans receive no objections, the burial site should be ready by winter this year.

GreenAcres managing director Andy Paling said: “We are very excited about this opportunity, particularly as the location provides an increase in burial space that will be needed very soon.”

Studley Wood Golf Club

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