An environmentally conscious funeral director specialising in natural and bespoke burials and cremations is now a shade greener following the introduction of Cambridgeshire’s first electric-powered hearse.
Woodland Wishes Funeral Services has added an all-electric, zero-emission Nissan Leaf eco hearse to its fleet of vehicles to complement its professional services.
Tracy O’Leary, Woodland Wishes’ funeral director and founder, said:
“Every funeral we arrange is different. We constantly strive to be able to offer our clients more environmentally friendly funerals with additional mainstream alternatives, delivered with high quality care, service and personalisation. We believe the new electric hearse brings a softer and less intimidating look and feel for families today.
“Our focus is on helping relatives celebrate the lives of their loved ones by offering bespoke funerals to include natural burials, cremations and home funerals whilst also giving back to nature for future generations. The reality is that a funeral can be pretty much whatever you want it to be; it’s your choice how you want it to look. Funeral directors don’t know best, families do. Woodland Wishes aims to encourage and empower, not prescribe or persuade.”
The battery-powered Leaf has been converted by specialists at Brahms Electric Vehicles, based in Northamptonshire. It can travel 120 miles on a single charge so can easily reach local woodland burial grounds, crematoriums and other used by Woodland Wishes, which is based in Fulbourn and Fowlmere near Cambridge.
It is believed to be only the eighth electric-powered hearse in the country.
“Natural and bespoke burials and cremations are becoming increasingly popular with growing numbers choosing coffins and urns made from a range of biodegradable materials including cardboard, woven willow and sustainable wood and wool, as well as floral and transport alternatives to help minimise the impact on the planet,” said Tracy. “This is why it makes perfect sense to extend our services to include an electric hearse offering an all-round ‘greener’ funeral service.”
Tracy, who won the Good Funeral Award for Green Funeral Director 2014 and whose business is a member of the Association of Green Funeral Directors and is recommended by the Natural Death Centre, added: “People are becoming more aware of their choices where the environmental impact is considerably less.”
The company’s emphasis is on minimal, gentle and non-invasive care of the body, reducing the need for embalming chemicals.
Local woodland cemeteries include the Arbory Trust at Barton Glebe, Cambridge; Muchwood Green Burial Ground, Ramsey, Cambridgeshire; and Brinkley Woodland Cemetery, near Newmarket.
Woodland Wishes also offers a range of other vehicles including traditional hearses, horse-drawn carriages, motorbikes and sidecars as well as a vintage silver Rolls-Royce and a classic VW campervan.
The new electric hearse allows for a more modern, subtle and affordable way of funeral transport and can also be hired directly by families to include a fully experienced driver.
Woodland Wishes’ main office is based at 4 High Street, Fulbourn, Cambridge, CB21 5DH.
Telephone 01223 880002 or (mobile) 07794 860131
Email: [email protected] or visit the Woodland Wishes website