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Each burial ground has it's own custodian. They are all happy to show people around the burial grounds and on the day of a funeral will greet the family and guide them to the grave. If you ring our Monmouth office (01600 716438) you are likely to speak to either James or Melissa.
At the burial grounds...
Rosie Humphreys - landowner and custodian of Usk Castle Chase
Rhodri and Annabelle Traherne - landowners and custodians of Cardiff & The Vale
Ginny Slater - custodian of Delliefure
Mary Thomson - custodian of Hundy Mundy
Andy Chanter - custodian of Henley-on-Thames
Malcolm Forbes - landowner and custodian of Cothiemuir Hill
Janet Cross - landowner and custodian of Bath
And in the office ...
Formerly a Chartered Building Surveyor specialising in the repair of historic buildings and architectural work, James turned his full attention to setting up and managing new natural burial grounds in 2003. He has a clear philosophy, which is to keep things simple, natural and beautiful, to use local materials, native plants, and to preserve the history of the landscape.
He is passionate about natural burial grounds and was part of the Ministry of Justice panel that contributed to the MoJ's 'Natural Burial Grounds - Guidance for Operators'. In 2008 he joined the Natural Death Centre as a trustee, where he helped to reinvigorate and update the charity for a busy 18 months. In 2011 James was invited to serve on a committee to advice the board of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management on matters relating to sustainable natural burial grounds, with a view to setting up a diploma course in Natural Burial Ground Management and a new Charter for Natural Burial.
James grew up in Mid Sussex, spent his university years and early career in London, moving to Wales in 1994, where he now lives with his wife, Elaine and daughter Rhiannon.
Joining Native Woodland in May 2009 as part of a team where 'we all do everything'. Melissa plays a vital role in speaking to families and managing the burial grounds, ensuring that everything is in place for the funeral to go right on the day.
Melissa has an extensive knowledge of green funerals and natural burial and has read and researched widely on the subject of funeral practices in the UK. She is a passionate advocate for changing peoples funeral experiences for the better and, in June 2010 presented a paper on green burial in the UK at the Centre for Death & Society's 'Good Send Off' Conference at Bath University.
Melissa's has many interests, foremost among them are classical music, tennis and duplicate bridge.