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Last Updated: Friday, 22 June 2007, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Charity's burial site in woodland
Boduan Sanctuary Wood (picture; Terry Mills)
Burial places within the wood are limited
A woman was inspired to set up a green burial ground on the Lleyn peninsula after her partner nearly died.

Dr Arabella Melville, 58, said she realised there was nowhere Colin Johnson would have liked to be buried if he had passed away.

It was the catalyst needed to set up a charity to buy the site in Boduan Sanctuary Wood near Pwllheli.

Gwynedd county councillor Tomos Evans said the woodland site, which is open to walkers, gave people more choice.

Dr Melville, a semi-retired writer, who describes Mr Johnson as her 'semi-detached' partner said: "Colin was very ill and I thought to myself, what am I going to do if he dies?

"It was absolutely awful as there was nowhere that he would have wanted to be."

Mr Johnson - who has diabetes - recovered, although his foot was amputated, and they set about setting up the charity.

We don't want it to be like a cemetery, we want it to stay like a wood
Dr Arabella Melville, founder

Two people are already buried on the site, including Dr Melville's father, William Melville - and his dog Sheila.

Dr Melville said the fact her father was buried in such a beautiful place was a comfort, and it felt "natural" to bury Sheila with her master when she died a year after him.

The charity - including the purchase of the seven and a half acre site - cost 50,000 to set up.

Burial 'plots' are offered for sale, and then when the charity has enough money, they will stop selling spaces at Boduan and buy another site.

"There is a limitation to where people can be buried in the wood because there is a stream on one side," said Dr Melville.

"But also we don't want it to be like a cemetery, we want it to stay like a wood, so as soon as the charity has accumulated enough money we will set up another site.

Boduan Sanctuary Wood (picture; Terry Mills)
Dr Melville's father was one of the first to be buried at the site

"It is about protecting the woodland, supporting the woodland's bio-diversity, not just providing a facility for people, we want to enhance the life of the wood."

The woodland is also open to the public to go for a walk and the charity welcomes volunteers, she added.

Nigel Beidas' mother-in-law Mrs Blodwen Hughes, was buried at the site two months ago.

"It was what she had wanted, but we struggled to find somewhere suitable before we came across this site," he said.

Gwynedd county councillor, Tomos Evans, said he welcomed the idea.

"It gives people an environmental option, and gives them another choice," he said.

The official opening is due to take place at 1400 BST.

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