Who is the leaflet for? What is its aim?
This leaflet is for any patient experiencing pregnancy loss at Cambridge University Hospitals. The loss of a baby can invoke numerous emotional reactions whatever the circumstances surrounding the loss. Individual parents are able to make their own sensitive disposal/funeral arrangements, upon request, but in the majority of cases, the hospital will make these arrangements.
This leaflet explains the process put in place at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for the sensitive disposal/burial of pregnancy remains and babies less than 24 weeks gestation within gynaecology services and what is meant by woodland burial.
The hospital has an established practice of the interment (burial) of pregnancy remains and babies at the Arbory Trust Woodland Burial Site, Barton (Barton Glebe). This is situated just west of Cambridge between the villages of Barton and Comberton on the B1046, the nearest postcode being: CB23 7BN. The site is managed by The Arbory Trust (opens in a new tab). The normal practice for transporting pregnancy remains and babies is that the Lead Chaplain or their designated colleague will collect the pregnancy remains from Cambridge University Hospital and transfer to Barton Glebe Woodland Burial Site in their own car with business insurance or a trust car.
Woodland burial is a centuries-old practice that is undergoing a recent revival and an alternative concept of interment to traditional burial and cremation. It provides a permanent and undisturbed resting place in increasingly beautiful surroundings that has less of an impact on the environment. Following burial and the grave has been filled, a mixture of grass and wild flower seeds are scattered over the area to continue the development of the woodland. The idea is to create a living memorial by encouraging new woodlands and in doing so leave something that will be enjoyed by future generations. It will always be an attractive place to visit and will also present a peaceful and tranquil environment for reflecting and remembering.
Arbory Trust Woodland Burial Ground, Barton
The woodland burial ground is an area of approximately 40 acres; the area currently in use for burial has nearly 10,000 trees which have been planted since the year 2000, all of which are species indigenous to the local area. Burials at Barton take place in the glades surrounded by trees, the graves ultimately becoming part of that glade or meadow in time.
It is a condition of the Arbory Trust that all coffins are biodegradable with no handles or plaques and the hospital adheres to this.
Anyone is welcome regardless of race, religion, geographical or theological boundary and is assured of a warm, caring service at all times.
Arbory Trust woodlands are open 365 days a year. The gates are never locked, but they request that the gates are closed to ensure the access of animals such as deer is minimised. Families and friends are welcome to visit at any time of their choosing.
Rosie hospital interment
The hospital interments happen at regular intervals, generally once a month, and will be attended by one of the Hospital Chaplains and will be conducted in a dignified, sensitive and respectful manner. Although the setting is less formal than a church or crematorium, proper care and attention are assured.
Families are able, subject to normal hospital confidentiality rules, to obtain the location of burial and the Arbory Trust will be able to assist in locating this area of land in years to come.
Individual interment is available upon request – please contact the Rosie Bereavement Team (opens in a new tab).
The memorial lodge
The lodge provides facilities, such as toilets, for visitors in addition to shelter on inclement days.
The lodge is always staffed on Wednesdays between 10:00 and 14:00. If you intend to visit and are coming from some distance, it is advisable to call in advance, not only to check that someone is available (staff commitments can vary), but also so they will stay on should you be delayed. They are happy to meet at other times by appointment (Monday to Friday).
Contacts and further information
For further information please contact the following:
Bereavement Lead and Lead Chaplain
01223 245151 ext 3664
References and sources of evidence
We are smoke-free
Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.
Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998. www.cuh.nhs.uk/contact-us/accessible-information/
Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge
Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151