About Us - The Farm and Family
Upper Bryntalch Farm run by Ifor and Eira Humphreys is a typical Mid-Wales farm, being improved grassland with a beef herd of 30 cows with their calves and a flock of 400 sheep and lambs.
The Humphreys family have lived and farmed in Montgomeryshire for generations, and Ifor has farmed here since 1983. In the past there were milking cows and arable crops grown and work on the farm for several employees.
Nowadays it is managed single-handedly by Ifor, with help from Eira and contractors at peak times.
We were married in 1999 - 2nd time lucky for us both! The desire to stay at home and enjoy parenting and the need to diversify our farm activities gave us the opportunity and incentive to start up the burial field.
We provide a place to be buried, what type of ceremony is up to you. Over half of the burials have held the entire proceedings on site with either: a family member, friend, humanist, civil celebrant or vicar conducting the proceedings. About a quarter have held a church service first and others have held a non-religious ceremony elsewhere (either before or after the burial)
We ask for a Biodegradable coffin (no plastic or metal handles.) options include: Willow, Bamboo, Cardboard, Pandanus (pineapple leaf) real wood, sea grass or a shroud.
Choose whichever you like, 39 different funeral directors have conducted funerals here and 5 families have not used the services of a funeral director. Local funeral directors are : Geraint Peate Welshpool, Leach & Son (Richard Parks) Newtown. Roger Hamer Caersws, Eddie Francis Forden, M Jones Llanidloes, Aubrey Kirkham Four Crosses, I. Jackson Llanfyllin & W.E. Price Oswestry.
" Our mission is to improve it’s natural beauty and accessibility, increase it’s bio-diversity, interest and value to nature and to provide a first class facility for those seeking to be buried here. "
Green Lane Burial Field was officially opened in April 2004, having already done our first burial in October 2003.
January 2017 - No changes as we enter our 13th year, Green Lane Burial Field is still a field, only now it is a field with 266 interesting people resting in it.
May 2016 – A new website for our 12th Anniversary, new leaflets coming soon. 247 bodies resting at Hillside, Severn side or Warlock’s Corner (Named after the composer Peter Warlock a musician & composer who lived at the adjacent Cefnbryntalch Hall in the early 20th Century) http://www.peterwarlock.org/CEFN.HTM
January 2015 - Our 11th year - and our busiest with 32 burials! Bringing our total number of residents to 208, each ceremony different & fitting for the person being buried
April 2014 - Ifor & I visited Clandon Wood, Nr Guildford, Surrey for the Association of Natural burials meeting. We returned with the people's award for best natural burial ground in Wales. Many thanks to all those families who filled in & returned the feedback forms
January 2014 - The start of our 10th year, 176 burials to date each ceremony as individual as the person being buried.
September 2013 - We feature on Radio 4's On Your Farm. Click on this link to listen. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b039yz4j
June 2013 - Congratulations to South Downs winner of the Natural Death Centre's people's award. We can proudly say we were placed 3rd in the BEST NATURAL BURIAL GROUND UK This is due to those families who filled in and returned their feedback forms with such wonderful comments - THANK YOU ALL
May 13th 2013 - To coincide with dying matters awareness week the Association of Natural Burial Grounds has announced the regional winners of the People's award. "In a unique new award based on the experience of bereaved families across the UK, Green Lane Burial Field near Montgomery has been named the Best Natural Burial Ground in Wales".
April 2013 - Ifor & I attended the Association of Natural Burial Grounds meeting in Lincoln. Nice to catch up with other natural burial operators also Rosie and Fran from the The Natural Death Centre. The new "MORE TO DEATH" e magazine is creating lots of interest & the 2nd issue is now underway. Winners of the ANBG peoples awards will be announced soon.
1st January 2013 – The beginning of our 9th year and 157 burials to date.
April 2012 - Hosted the Association of Natural Burial Grounds meeting here (with the help of our neighbours at Cefn Bryntalch Hal)
30th December 2011 – Year end 29 burials this year
October 2011 - Ifor & I attended the Association of Natural Burial Grounds meeting in Yorkshire. A chance to meet other burial site owners, receive comments from families (via the feedback forms) catch up with what's happening at the Natural Death Centre & best of all take a look at two burial grounds at Brocklands Settle & Tarn Moor Skipton.
May 2011 - We are marking the start of Dying Matters Awareness Week by having an open afternoon on Saturday 14th May between 2 - 6pm where visitors can meet the proprietors Eira and Ifor Humphreys, ask questions and enjoy the views. The day is aimed at encouraging people to start conversations about dying and death and to discuss the type of end of life care that they would want.
January 2010 - As we start our 6th year 90 burials here so far, over half have held the entire proceedings on site, with either a family member or friend, a humanist, civil celebrant or vicar conducting the proceedings.
October 2009- We now have a 'Rainbow Route' - a sort of orienteering course - set in the woodland. Open to all semi - organised groups. Lasts about 1 hour. Great for kids over 6 & fit adults. Ask for more details.
July 2007 - What a hectic 6 months! 13 burials including our first shroud, lovingly homemade & buried without the services of a funeral director - just what natural burial is about really! In most instances a funeral director has an essential part to play. However, if next of kin are determined, informed & prepared, then go for it - we will do all we can to help.
April 28th & 29th 2007 - We held an open weekend to commemorate the 'Day of the Dead' with over 80 visitors. There was a great deal of interest in the felt shroud on display. See www.bellacouche.com.
P.S. Mike Jarvis of the Natural Death Centre predicts that by 2010 some 12% of all burials in the UK will be 'Green'.
December 2006 - We were featured in the final episode of Jamie Owens Welsh Journeys on BBC 2 Wales on Tuesday 5th December. It’s a pity the field wasn’t looking its best when filming took place in August due to the serious drought. Climate change seems to be having an impact here. Now it won't stop raining!
April 22nd & 23rd 2006 - we held 2 open afternoons to commemorate the ‘Day of the Dead’. More low-key than our last event, about 50 people came for a look.
December 2005 - The end of our 2nd year & 13 burials to date.
December 16th–18th 2005 - the Peter Warlock Festival was held in nearby Montgomery celebrating the 75th anniversary of his death. Peter Warlock was a musician & composer who lived at the adjacent Cefnbryntalch Hall in the early 20th Century and would have walked and looked over the burial field from his window. We co-sponsored this festival. You can find out more at www.peterwarlock.org
August 2005 - As part of our ongoing strategy to improve access to the site we erected an information board by the car park and a wooden handrail leading to the woodland walk
April 18th 2004 - The official opening of Green Lane Burial Field -over 200 people visited.
October 2003 - Our first burial