Woodland cemetery wins green space award

A woodland cemetery in St Helens has been named one of the very best green spaces in the UK.

GreenAcres Rainford, set in 65 acres of beautiful mature woodland has won the prestigious Green Flag Award, for the second year running.

Situated on part of Lord Derby’s Estate, it offers an alternative to the traditional municipal or church funeral.

GreenAcres woodland warden Richard Lester and volunteer John Barlow, whose wife Joan is buried in Bluebell Glade, accepted the award on behalf of the firm.

Since his wife’s death from cancer in 2013 John has been volunteering at GreenAcres assisting with grounds maintenance, and community events held at the park.

He said: “We chose the burial park because we both appreciated the outdoor life. The first time I saw bluebell glade the sun was shining through the trees directly on to the plot, and it just seemed right. It’s a wonderful place.”

John attended the awards ceremony to collect the Green Flag alongside the GreenAcres Rainford team on July 21 at Sheffield City Hall.