One of the sad facts of life is that one day you will not be around. Unless you have it written into your will, the likelihood is that your mortal remains will stay in the country of your demise. Suppose you could find a wonderful way of returning the ashes of a loved one to the UK for interment and at the same time contribute to the environment and local charities? Suppose also that your ashes could one day be returned to the UK and interred with your loved one?
The Life For a Life Memorial Forests are a registered not-for-profit charity that accepts the cremated remains of expatriates from any country for interment beneath the roots of a newly planted tree. We have over twenty sites located around the United Kingdom, but mostly in the North of England and the West Country. Detailed locations of each site can be found at our web site:
So far we have received the cremated remains of expats from such countries as far away as South Africa, India and Bahrain, to name but a few. The process is surprisingly quite simple. Each urn of cremated remains should be accompanied with a copy of the death certificate, a letter from the crematorium certifying the contents of the urn and a customs declaration form. Some countries may have different local rules so you should check these out with the undertaker.
The ashes should be sent to our UK Headquarters in Chadderton. They will immediately acknowledge safe receipt of the urn to the senders. The ashes are then taken to the chosen site and the interment takes place beneath the tree of your choice. The photograph below shows part of our newly planted forest at the Chew Valley Lake in Somerset, one of our five West Country forests.
Since its inauguration in 1999 the charity has developed a way for the interment of ashes without any thought to religion, creed, race or status. This short and simple ceremony can be attended by UK relatives or friends if so desired.
You do not have to wait until someone’s demise to order a tree. On any trip back to the UK you are welcome to visit one of our sites and select the tree that you wish – all you do is pay for it now (the price is currently £395) and reserve your tree for the inevitable future. Alternatively you can leave it up to us to select a tree for you.
As a living tribute to those deceased we plant only natural British trees in our forests. These are the oak, silver birch, rowan and Scots pine trees. Our forests also contain an area we affectionately refer to as the “Warriors’ Rest”. These parts of our memorial forests are set aside exclusively for the commemoration of those who were either ex-Services or ex-emergency services.
You do not even have to have the ashes of a deceased person interred within the roots of a tree. Our forests are designed as a living memorial and, as such, a tree can be dedicated to anyone no matter how long ago they passed away. In addition once you have purchased a tree any other sets of ashes can be interred at a later date, thereby creating a true family tree.
It is important for you to understand that the purpose of the Life For a Life registered charity (Reg. No. 1096422) is to raise funds for the specific charities listed on our web site. Other charities that are not shown which also receive donations from us are the Royal British Legion and SSAFA Forces Help. You can actually decide yourself which charity your substantial donation goes to by ticking the appropriate box on the order form in our booklet. That brochure is available on request from our Head Office at:
Life For a Life Memorial Forests
The Woodland Suite, Chadderton Court
451 Middleton Road
You can also telephone on +44 161 624 2299 or send a fax on +44 161 624 2340.
Alternatively if you are not too fussed as to what charity your donation goes to, you can complete the order form on our web site by clicking on the appropriate button. Each site is specifically linked to an individual charity. For example, the Sutton Bingham site near the West Country town of Yeovil donates funds to the St Margaret’s Hospice in that town. We have sites opening up all the time throughout the UK.
If you want any more information I am happy to answer any queries you have. My e-mail address is PeterF707@aol.com .My name is Peter Forrester and I am the Area Co-ordinator (South) for the charity.