Going naturally

Sunday 3 November was a beautiful day for a planting at Wellington Natural Cemetery, in Makara. Approximately 40 people attended, including several families who have chosen natural burial for their loved ones, and several funeral directors.

The planting was a combined effort from Natural Burials (founder Mark Blackham in attendance), natural caskets manufacturer Return to Sender (Leanne Holdsworth down from Auckland), TfS (Wellington Regional Manager Peter Gilberd) and Wellington City Council (Cemetery Manager Jeff Paris and his team).

Everything about the Makara Natural Cemetery is as natural as possible. For example, to help natural processes, plots are dug only into the active soil layer, the deceased are not embalmed and they are buried in coffins of untreated, sustainable wood. Plots are filled with aerobic, organically active soil, and overplanted with a tree native to the area.

The working bee at Makara Natural Cemetery

New planting extends an area of native trees at Makara

Return to Sender paid for the trees, TfS prepared the site and provided the plants from its nursery. Wellington City Council provided additional trees and three hard-working staff; all in all, 300 natives were planted on a great day, with refreshments for the hard workers.

This is the second year running that Return to Sender has supported a planting in the region. Last year, 50 lancewoods were planted in Masterton by St Patrick’s School and the Henley Trust.

Planting session in 2012, by St Patrick's School at Henley Lake in Masterton

One of the lancewood planted at Henley Lake