Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

New cemetery in Sevenoaks offers traditional and eco burials and will help relieve the demand for plots

A NEW cemetery has just opened in the Sevenoaks area which will bring some relief to people looking for burial grounds either for themselves in the future, or for loved ones who have passed away.

The new chapel at Bluebell Cemetery which is surrounded by some of the memorial gardens.

Cemeteries around the country are running out of space and a study by the BBC in 2013, and reported on in the Financial Times, found that a quarter of England’s local authorities, which operate the majority of burial grounds, say they expect their facilities to be full by 2023.

The new privately-run Bluebell Cemetery is on Old London Road in Badgers Mount in an area formerly known as Watercroft Woods. There had been previous applications to build a cemetery on the site, but it has finally become a reality through the work of Bluebell Cemetery Ltd which is made up of a team of property developers making their first foray into the burial ground business.

Inside the air-conditioned chapel.

The developers were drawn to their business name because of the carpet of bluebells that grow in the area every year. But the tranquil setting you will now find at Bluebell Cemetery hides the fact that before they took it over in 2017, the unmanaged wooded area had become a target for fly-tippers. Several tons of rubbish had to be cleared including close to 300 tyres that had been dumped in the woods.

The 28 acres have now been transformed and mourners are now greeted by attractive areas of formal gardens and an air-conditioned modern chapel which can be used for funeral and memorial services by all faiths.

Manager Neil Lincoln sitting in one of the memorial gardens.

Manager Neil Lincoln said: “We have permission to utilise the whole site for burials. Nine acres is for 3,000 plots and there is also a dedicated area of formal memorial gardens for the placement of cremated remains. We are also using some of the woodland for those who want a more natural, environmentally friendly burial.

“Although we are not a crematorium, we will be offering cremation services. This is achieved in collaboration with established crematoriums.”

Bluebell Cemetery officially opened for business this month (June) but it has been possible to purchase a grave in advance. The first person was buried at the site on Friday 21 June.

With fears over the environment now high on the agenda, Neil believes there will be a growing number of people wanting to take advantage of the woodland burial area at Bluebell Cemetery.

The entrance to the new Bluebell Cemetery in Old London Road, Badgers Mount.

Neil said: “This is set within an ancient woodland where burial plots are set among the trees and wildflowers. There will be no formal gravestones and these plots offer an opportunity to those wanting to be more at one with nature.”

For more information on Bluebell Cemetery go to: www.bluebellcemetery.com

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