A Crematorium For Wealden
by Peter Griggs
At long last the people of Wealden will soon be served by their own crematorium. Peter Griggs from Wealden District Council tells us what we can expect.
Surprisingly until now there has not been a crematorium located in the large rural area covered by Wealden District Council, instead residents have had to rely on the increasingly busy crematoriums in Eastbourne, Tunbridge Wells and Brighton where parking is a premium and often services are held every 30 to 40 minutes.
All this is set to change this year as the District Council’s new crematorium near Horam is completed and due to open in spring. Set in a central location on the A267 it will be no more than a 30-minute drive from Wealden’s towns and villages. It will of course also be open to those living outside the district who wish to arrange for the cremation of a loved one.
The crematorium is an attractive single storey building which sits in a carefully landscaped, peaceful setting within the gentle folds of the local landscape which is so typical of this part of Sussex. Its contemporary design uses stone, glass and water to provide a peaceful contemplative setting.
Generous car parking has been built into the design accommodating around 160 vehicles, complete with Electric Vehicle charging points, accessible parking, cycle racks and even separate provision for horse drawn hearses.
A comfortable meeting area with ample toilets, baby change and vending machines has been provided for mourners, and everything has been carefully designed to meet the needs of those with a disability. The ceremony hall, which seats 120, is equipped with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment. There is also the opportunity to have the service webcast and a DVD created for those that are unable to attend on the day.
Unhurried services are being offered at one hour intervals to avoid mourners leaving one service and meeting those arriving for the next.
Conscious of the need to protect the environment, expert advice was taken on ecological and environmental issues. Consequently the 30 acres of beautiful landscaped grounds, wildflower meadows and pasture will soon be taking on their own environmental significance. Most of the site will feature carefully planned gardens, woodland areas, grazing and wildflower meadows. New hedgerows are also being incorporated into the scheme.
The landscaping includes the planting of nearly 8,000 trees to form new woodland and screening together with over 4,500 shrubs and 4,700 herbaceous plants.
With all this new planting in place the site has a high potential for nesting birds as the woodland trees and hedgerows provide ideal nesting habitat for a range of bird species. A number of bat boxes have also been installed across the site.
As pressure on cremation services grows there is an increasing need for families and friends to be able to mourn their loved ones in an unhurried, peaceful setting, without the additional stress of travelling long distances or rushed services.
Wealden believes that its crematorium responds to these needs and that its modern, compassionate approach to celebrating the lives of our loved ones will provide a top class service for all.
For further details please visit www.wealdencrematorium.co.uk