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Bristol Memorial Woodlands hosts bereavement walks

A unique series of free nature walks that help people deal with bereavement is being launched at a woodland burial venue near Bristol.

Once a week for seven weeks participants will take a therapeutic walk with a group through the woodlands led by experienced professionals in the field of grief.

Walking and working as a group, the sessions will include time to walk in silence, talk with others, moments to pause and reflect, and the opportunity to share and honour with others the memories of the loved one who has died.

The walks will be through the 100-acre Bristol Memorial Woodlands at Alveston, near Thornbury, Bristol. They will be facilitated by Mireille Hayden, Health Psychologist and Director of Gentle Dusk together with Ben Stevenson, Eco-psychotherapist and Psychotherapist at St Peter’s Hospice.

Mireille, who founded the end-of-life care organisation Gentle Dusk, said: “The bereavement walking groups will allow people to experience these beautiful grounds and tap into the therapeutic potential of being in nature as part of a group.”

Ben Stevenson said: “Together we will walk through the gardens and woodlands along a guided path through a variety of settings and environments. The woodlands provide a natural canvas and a safe space for those taking part to find meaning in life after loss. We will all be supporting each other as we walk and talk.”

Christopher Baker, who founded Bristol Memorial Woodlands, said: “Bristol Memorial Woodlands is creating a nature reserve and offers environmentally-friendly woodland burials where trees and wildflowers are planted around plots to create a nature reserve for future generations.  

“These walks are an excellent use of the woodland and fit perfectly with the area providing a natural memorial for those we have lost.”

Also encompassing a chapel and reception rooms, the site and grounds are managed by a charitable trust and provide families with a location for unhurried, bespoke funerals for loved ones.

To find out more about the “walking with grief” woodland walks please contact sophie@gentledusk.org.uk or visit memorialwoodlands.com. The events are free with a small donation to bereavement charity CRUSE encouraged.

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