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New technology helps families locate loved ones at burial park

PUBLISHED: 14:12 18 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:13 18 June 2018

Gunton Woodland Burial Park manager Anita Graves. The park has teamed up with Pear Technology to electronically pinpoint its plots. Picture: TMS Media

Gunton Woodland Burial Park manager Anita Graves. The park has teamed up with Pear Technology to electronically pinpoint its plots. Picture: TMS Media

Archant

Families will be able to locate the resting place of their loved ones with ease thanks to the latest GPS technology.

Gunton Woodland Burial Park has teamed up with Pear Technology to electronically pinpoint its plots. Picture: TMS MediaGunton Woodland Burial Park has teamed up with Pear Technology to electronically pinpoint its plots. Picture: TMS Media

Prior to Gunton Woodland Burial Park opening in 2016, volunteers planted 7,000 British native trees and formed five glades for burial plots with wildflowers sown in each.

Finding individual plots in the idyllic setting is still possible while the flora is still young, but the task will become much more challenging as it matures.

The management team at the Waveney Valley park have therefore utilised new technology to create an electronic map which will enable untended graves to be discovered well into the future.

Burial park manager Anita Graves said: “A lot of burial parks have unmarked graves, but the majority of our families have granite plaques because they want to be able to see the name of their loved-one.

“If families are not tending the grave, or as generations pass on and it is no longer being visited, that’s where the technology comes in, enabling us to pinpoint each plot with complete accuracy.”

With more than 250 in the UK, the popularity of woodland burials has grown considerably since the first natural burial park was opened in 1993. Gunton followed suit in 2016, making it the first environmentally-friendly woodland burial park to be opened in the Waveney and Great Yarmouth area.

Although most of the park’s graves are marked by flat-laid granite plaques and the grounds regularly maintained, the plots are tended to by families and will become increasingly difficult to locate once woodland and flora grows.

But a solution was found when the charity’s trustees contacted the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management and learned about the work of Pear Technology.

The software provider was commissioned to survey the area and produced an accurate electronic map of the burial park, providing ground managers with the means to run the park without any disturbance to the natural environment.

David Ferns, chairman of the trustees, added: “I feel sure the new GPS system for locating burials will give customers that peace of mind of knowing it will be much easier in the future to find the resting place of their loved ones.”


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