WESTMILL WOODLAND BURIAL GROUND

Liz Rothschild, Adam Twine and Colleymore Farm

If you wish to read our Aims and Objectives please click link.

We are a Community Interest Company (CIC)   

The site and management is run by Liz Rothschild and Adam Twine through Westmill Woodland Burial Ground community interest company (CIC), a not-for-profit company that was established in 2013. Liz Rothschild and Adam Twine are directors of the company.

 

CICs are spefically designed for organisations aiming to provide a service to their local community and operate on a not for profit basis.

 

The intention is that the site will eventually become fully independent from the farm and will be managed for wildlife and preserved as a burial ground in perpetuity. To this end 20% of the cost of each burial is placed in a separate fund that is attached to the site and will be able to pay for the ongoing maintenance of the site.

 

Each year the company submits a statement to the CIC regulator detailing how it has fulfilled its objectives.

To find out more about CICs click link to be forwarded to the official Regulator's website.

 

The Land

Westmill farm is 450 acres of mixed arable cropping and pasture for beef cattle. All bar one field is farmed organically. Westmill farm has initiated a wide range of environmental and social projects. The most prominent of these are the community owned Westmill wind farm and Westmill solar park and Root and Branch Horticultural Therapy Project.

 

The farm has been managed with wider environmental objectives for thirty years and over this time has put down several acres managed specifically to support the native flora and fauna. The farm has also created several kilometres of footpaths for local walkers.

 

THE MANAGERS

Liz Rothschild

Having experienced a number of close family and friends’ deaths I have become very interested in how our society handles death and dying and felt frustrated that so many people did not get the funeral they really wanted or could afford. I became a celebrant working with people to craft funerals that felt right for them and the person who had died.  Some years later the chance came to try and create a different kind of burial ground on the farm and I jumped at it.  My parents are buried up there now and so will I be when the times comes.  Our society is not very good about talking about death and dying or supporting us when we grieve. To try and open up the subject I ran a festival in Oxford in 2014 called Kicking the Bucket – A Festival of Living and Dying.  We ran it again in 2014 and we are now planning the one for 2016. 


I believe how we think about death affects how we live.  It can make life seem more precious, alter our priorities.  Planning can reduce our anxiety and take a huge burden off our surviving family or community when the time comes.  It is a privilege to work with people at a time in their lives when they are so open and I continue to feel very honoured by the trust people place in us. Each funeral teaches me something. 
I am also a performer and am currently working on a performance whose working title is “Tide” to be performed as a one woman piece.

 

Adam Twine

Adam Twine is the third generation to farm at Westmill. His grandfather first moved to the area from Bushton Wiltshire in the 1930s. Adam part owns the farm with his sister Jane who lives in South Africa.  As well as farming 1,200 acres at Westmill and as a tenant at Colleymore farm (part of the neighbouring National Trust estate at Coleshill) he has set up a not-for-profit company supporting farmers tackling green house gas emissions from their farm called Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit and is active in environmental and social justice issues. He was a recipient of the Schumacher award in 2007. He and Liz have two children, Rowan and Laurie.

 

 

 

 

Liz and Adam at the gate to the Burial Ground