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FAQs and what you need to know

1. Purchase of the Exclusive Rights to Burial in a grave: Unless stated otherwise, each purchase fee is for an initial 40 year term of exclusive rights to use the grave. This term may be increased in increments of 10 years at a pro-rata rate or the rights may be renewed at the end of the term. If rights are not renewed, the family’s use of the grave lapses and the memorial may be removed. It is very important to understand that irrespective of the Deed or the term of years taken, it is against the law to disturb Human Remains that have been buried; this part of the grave must remain sacrosanct and the lapsing of the rights to the grave does not alter this in anyway. The Company will select the exact position of a grave within a chosen section. Should a family wish to be more specific then a premium may be added to the purchase fee, particularly if the preferred position should be alongside a pathway or other prominent feature.


2. A burial ground is subjected to the weather and is part of the natural scene; this can have its disadvantages as well as its benefits. During wet weather the grass and topsoil can become waterlogged and very muddy; if this is for a prolonged period the ground can be damaged by the ongoing flow of people walking and our machinery travelling. Recently used graves in particular can look unkempt until the spring brings new growth to the grass. The animals that can be a pleasure to see visit can also cause damage: the deer and rabbits attach the young trees and moles leave their hills which are unattractive. These are ongoing battles for our grounds-team who will always try to keep Harbour View looking naturally beautiful within the limits of what is possible. Even in the depths of winter, the fresh shoots of spring are only just around the corner.


3. Harbour View is a woodland burial ground and has rules that seek to protect the grounds as a beautiful environment embracing the natural world. We encourage visitors to plant bulbs and to leave bunches of flowers on graves. Some items such as artificial flowers, cellophane, plastic or other unnatural materials are not in keeping with a woodland burial ground and will be removed by our grounds-team as soon as they are found. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details in this respect or ask at our office should you require clarification.


4. Memorial stones are made in a ‘wedge’ shape so that rain naturally runs off and it faces towards the onlooker from the foot of a grave. The tablets are readily available and because they are laid flat, time is not required for ground settlement. Therefore a memorial can be prepared very quickly, often prior to a burial. Although quite small, a large number of letters can be engraved giving plenty of scope for even several deceaseds to be commemorated. We believe these tablets are sympathetic to the environment and in keeping with the ethos of a woodland burial ground. All memorials must be purchased through our office and may not be brought in from outside.


5. Memorial Trees are planted around Harbour View. Our policy is to plant trees in a way that appears natural and in which they are likely to mature. They are planted for the long-term, greater good of the burial ground. As such most graves do not have a tree planted directly upon them – trees simply do not grow like that. Trees are planted in areas that are to become open woodland and are not planted on the higher areas where the views of the Harbour and Purbeck are paramount. A variety of tree types and sizes are available; they can be taken as a memorial for an initial five-year term and for increments thereof. They always remain the property of the Company, who reserve the exclusive right to maintain and prune them. Among the trees available are Oak, Horse Chestnut, Sweet Chestnut, Copper Beech, Silver Birch, Ash, Rowan, Flowering Cherry along with Apple, Pear and Plum Fruit Trees. We will consider other trees but will always look to protect the nature of the traditional English Woodland we want to create.


6. Memorial benches are situated in a variety of positions around Harbour View. They are typically placed along pathways and hedgerows rather than in open grassland. Benches are currently available in Teak and in Pine and memorial plaques upon them are taken for an initial term of five years or increments thereof. Memorial benches are free for any visitors to sit upon, irrespective of the memorial plaques that are fixed upon them. In all instances and at all times, benches remain the property of the Company, who will give annual repair and maintenance at their discretion. No other maintenance is permitted.


7. Harbour View is an operational burial ground and as such work is carried out around the grounds continually. There may well come a time when a grave next to, or near to, your family's grave is to be prepared for an interment. This involves moving a considerable amount of soil, which has to go somewhere, and using equipment that satisfies a modern expectation of staff safety. It is unfortunate but inevitable that this sometimes affects adjoining graves. Every care is taken to cover and protect these graves and the time taken is kept to a minimum. On occasions, we may even move or cover a memorial to ensure its protection. This of course, happens so infrequently in relation to your family's grave that it is unlikely you will ever notice it happening or the results of it having happened. Nevertheless visiting a grave and finding such work underway, can quite understandably cause distress. We hope, if this should ever happen to you, you would understand the reasons for it to happen.