WESTMILL WOODLAND BURIAL GROUND

New plans at harvest time!

Jan and I had a very exciting time on Friday stepping over boards and bits of building kit with our tape measure to have a look around the new office being created from an old farm building at the bottom of the farm yard at Westmill.  We will be sharing the building with a small farm office.  It will be a lovely welcoming place for our visitors to come to and being much closer to the burial ground will make a lot of things much simpler.  Anyone wanting to come and see us can either leave their car at the car park and have a gentle stroll down the hill to come and see us or drive the one minute drive and park outside the office. There will be a kettle on the go, a lovely wood burning stove and we are plotting sofas – well, one sofa!  We also plan to have our memorial tree hanging on display and start to create a memory book with every family having a page in there if they want one. All our books, leaflets and other resources will also be easily accessible to browse or borrow.  It will also be great for our staff who will be easily able to come and collect their uniforms and leave them hanging up to dry after a wet few hours on site.  We hope to be able to show you around at our November Friends and Family Day and at the Open Day next June for the general public. 

We share that part of Westmill farm with Root & Branch, the horticultural therapy project that we set up for people living with mental health challenges.  There is a working forge, green woodworking shop and of course their gorgeous garden which can be visited on open days and when they hold plant sales. Pete Richardson drives in and out with his Westmill Organics van and his field of organic vegetables and numerous poly tunnels can be admired just over the road from the entrance into the farmyard. He also has a little shop which is always open and is hard to miss since he has a very striking orange wooden carrot as his sign.  This also helps you notice where the farmyard entrance is so we are very grateful. In addition Guy Newton runs his tree planting and surgery business from Westmill (07855 465515)and last but not least there is a workshop for Bartlett’s who cut some of our memorial tablets. 

It is a very busy and active little area with farm vehicles also swinging in and out from time to time as feed is brought to the young cattle, silage loaded into the clamps or grain carted into the barns.  All depends in the time of year of course.  Adam is very busy combining right now and I spent a happy few hours with him yesterday up in the combine watching the husks of the oats flying up. Such a delicate dance as they swirl catching the sunlight – each one delicately veined like a small butterfly wing.   Being in the combine is like surging in a huge ship over the golden waves of the field.  Sometimes farmers continue long after sundown trying to gather in the crop before rains come in. Then the floodlights come on and you are own small moving lit world with the night creatures flitting past in the margins and the shadowy trees rearing up in the hedges.  The other day whilst standing in the field I had five sightings of a weasel as it broke away from one row of cut straw and made a run for the next heap.    It got out of the way long before the combine came thundering back down the field you will be glad to hear.