Nick Herbert opens woodland burial site at Clayton

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert officially opened the new natural burial ground at Clayton on Friday afternoon (3 July).

Mr Herbert unveiled a plaque to mark the event and was given a tour of the site by Managing Director David Hampson.

Mr Herbert also met some of the 100 invited guests, including the relatives of people already buried at the site and representatives of county, district and parish councils.

The Clayton Wood Natural Burial Ground, a former equestrian centre, is the County's first woodland burial site. 

Located off the Brighton Road below the Jack and Jill Windmills, the 13 acre site will provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional burials.  Only biodegradable materials will be allowed and, instead of gravestones, families can plant trees in memory of their relatives.

During the opening ceremony, Mr Hampson paid tribute to the support he received from West Sussex County Councillor for Hurstpierpoint and Bolney Peter Griffiths and Mid Sussex District Councillor for Hurstpierpoint and Downs Susanna Kemp.

Mr Hampson said: "I've lived in Sussex for most of my life and like many of you am fed up with the housing developments put upon us by central government.  I wanted to create something that my children and grandchildren could enjoy; a quiet corner of this crowded county where they could remember the good times; something beautiful out of the tragedy and despair of losing a loved one.  I hope that, today, you can see that we're creating a place of tranquillity, working with nature to enhance the area."

Nick Herbert commented: "It's a pleasure to be here at what is, after all, an extraordinary event.  David is pioneering something here which is unique in Sussex, the first of its kind, but this form of natural burial is becoming more and more popular, especially as high profile people such as Jade Goody and Wendy Richard have chosen it.

"Living here in this rural community, in the heart of the South Downs, we have a permanent connection with the countryside.  We all value it and know it to be special.  It's wonderful to see a new woodland area being created."



Notes for Editors

1. For the website of the Clayton Wood Natural Burial Ground, visit

2. The photograph shows Nick Herbert (left) with David Hampson standing next to the plaque.

Christopher N Howarth