February 2024

Over the last few weeks we have had regular visits from a barn owl, which has been really good to see. True to its name it had previously been coming into the barn at Brocklands; however since that has been re-roofed we have now made the building bird-proof, primarily to keep out the jackdaws which were roosting there in large numbers and bringing in copious quantities of sticks and other debris.

So we are unsure where the barn owl is now roosting, but it certainly likes to come hunting at Brocklands.

We invited local ornithologist and photographer Phil Simnett to come up and see if he could get a snap or two of the barn owl. He has been up a couple of times, but as yet it hasn't favoured him with an appearance. However, he has seen quite a variety of other bird life, a sample of which is reproduced below.

Left to right and top to bottom: jackdaws, robin, heron, field fares, nuthatch and bluetit.





January 2024

Following the opening of the new burial area in November 2022, two new oak seats have been added to the burial site.

They are placed between the old and new sections and being up on the higher ground have good views over all the burial area, as well as taking in the view up the valley to Settle and beyond. The new area does require a longer walk from the car park, but is compensated by an even better view of Penyghent and now Ingleborough too.

The new 'seats' (we are not allowed to call them benches!) have been expertly designed and crafted by Alan Adey, employing traditional construction methods and using our own oak from Cappleside woodlands. They have been much admired and regularly used since their installation.

Detail of construction, including a carved plaque
with the date of opening of the new burial area
'Tree of Life' depiction which incorporates a carved
acanthus motif (donated by Kevin Magsen)

Alan lives locally and works at Brocklands, being an integral part of the team on burial days and carrying out regular maintenance work on the site.




January 2022

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded Regional Winner for the North of England in the People's Awards 2022.
It is an honour and privilege for us to receive this award, not least because it is a judgement based on the feedback received from the bereaved families who have used our burial site to bury a loved one. Thank you to all those who filled in and returned the Feedback Forms - all comments and suggestions are much appreciated.



In common with many other things the price of wildflowers has risen dramatically in recent months, as a result of which we have decided to change the bulb options on the Wildflower page. We are now offering them in lots of 10 and at the same time broadened the range on offer to include a few other typical native woodland wildflowers.

Click here to view the Wildflower page

January 2020

“The Little Hazel Tree” is a story written by Lizzie Rosewood in memory of Dave Brooks, who was buried at Brocklands in June 2019. She has very kindly given us permission to reproduce the story in full here - please click on the link below to read it:

The Little Hazel Tree

June 2019

On Sunday 9th June 2019 Cappleside Farm will again be taking part in Open Farm Sunday. This national event is co-ordinated by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), and aims to increase public awareness of how modern farms operate, and show how farmers manage their natural resources and enhance biodiversity.

As part of the event at Cappleside we will be holding an Open Day at Brocklands. It will run from 1pm until 3pm, with a guided tour of the burial site taking place at 2pm. There will be displays and refreshments available in the Haybarn, and one of the Brocklands team will be present to explain how the burial site operates and to answer any questions from visitors.

April 2019


For the third year running Brocklands has been declared Winner for North of Britain Region in the Annual Peoples Awards made by The Natural Death Centre. We are delighted to have received this award, which is based on feedback received from bereaved families, and would like to say a big thank you to all those families who took the trouble to fill in and return the feedback form.

The responses, good and bad, are important to us and help steer us towards providing the best possible service to people in the very difficult period leading up to and during the burial of their loved-one, and in the long-term management and maintenance of our natural burial site.

March 2019

This was the beautifully-adorned coffin for the funeral of Janet Zaddisa on 29th March 2019.

Family and friends decorated the coffin as part of their informal gathering of remembrance in the Haybarn prior to the interment. The coffin was a simple plain cardboard one which was 'perfect' for the written messages, drawings and collages.

The family described it as 'a great way to involve the children and the process was very comforting and personal for all of us.'




May 2018


On Sunday 10th June Cappleside Farm will be opening its doors to the public as part of the national Open Farm Sunday event.

Brocklands Woodland Burial which is part of the Cappleside Estate, and is run alongside the farm business, will also be holding an Open Day at the same time, encouraging visitors to come and see the site, have a walk round the burial ground and look at the displays which will be on show in the Haybarn.

The event will run from 12 noon until 2pm and will include a guided tour of the site at approximately 1pm, when the owner, Chris Weston, will show visitors around and explain the history and the ethos of Natural Burial.

The Haybarn, which is often used in conjunction with burials at Brocklands, will be open, serving light refreshments, and include displays of biodegradable coffins and information relating to services offered at the burial site.

February 2018

We have had a few comments and complaints recently regarding the difficulty of finding the burial site. As more than half of the burials at Brocklands involve families who are not from our immediate area, many mourners travel on the day of the burial from some distance, not knowing exactly how to find us. They not surprisingly resort to using their satnavs to guide them. Unfortunately, in our very rural location, a satnav is a very unreliable tool, not least because the postcode for the burial site covers a wide area, and is the same for several properties including three farms. So using it to locate the burial site quite often leads people up the wrong track, or deposits them in a farm yard, where they have to find someone to ask where they should be.

On an occasion which can already be stressful this is clearly not a good place for people to be. So we have added to the website a page of detailed directions which can be viewed, downloaded or printed off, and a link to this page from a prominent position on the Home page. We would urge people not to rely on a satnav, particularly for the last few miles on the journey, but rather follow the directions, and if necessary ring the mobile number on the page if you get lost. You can also locate the   Directions to Brocklands page here.

April 2017

We are very pleased that Brocklands has been named the Best Natural Burial Ground in North Britain in the Annual Peoples Awards made by The Natural Death Centre. The region includes Northern England and all of Scotland, and thus a large part of the UK.

The Annual Awards are based entirely on feedback forms which The Association of Natural Burial Grounds (under the auspices of the Natural Death Centre Charity) require all member sites to give to every bereaved family, following the burial of their loved one.




      Brocklands got a special flypast on Friday 31st March 2017 as the Flying Scotsman made its way from Oxenhope to Carlisle to celebrate the re-opening of the Settle Carlisle railway. The more usual flypasts we see are from RAF trainer jets, or occasionally a pair of Hercules transport planes lumbering up the valley, but this one was indeed memorable particularly for steam train enthusiasts, although one has to say it certainly was not flying in any sense of the word, having just taken on a load of water at Hellifield it merely ambled up to Settle, with very little steam to be seen at all.




October 2016

      We are very fortunate and privileged to have received on loan from Austwick parish their beautiful old Funeral Bier. For several years now this has been used but once a year in Austwick as a book stall at their Annual Street Market, but following discussions with the Parish Council we have now been granted permission to use it for the purpose for which it was originally built in 1907, ie. transportation of the deceased to the graveside.

We have already used it on two occasions when it has performed admirably, running perfectly smoothly on its old carriage wheels, taking the strain out of the carrying process, but also adding some style to the cortège.




Autumn has been kind this year, with little rain, hardly any frost and no storms...yet! The result of this: a season with few mists but plenty mellow fruitfulness, bountiful crops of berries and fruits, and wonderful colours as the pictures here show.





June 2016

We now have in place the new double-door entrance into the Haybarn, which has been constructed to allow easier coffin access and also facilitate disabled access. The overall appearance of the building from outside and in remains unchanged, but the practical difficulties associated with ingress and egress via the old door have been removed. The work has been carried out to a high standard by local joiner Mick Crisp.




April 2016



In the Annual People's Awards which are handed out by the Association of Natural Burial Grounds, Brocklands was awarded Runner Up in the Northern Region. We were delighted to receive this, not least because the award is based on feedback received by the Association from families who have had burials at the site.
The northern region covers the north of England and all of Scotland, so we regard it as a great accolade.




February 2016

This year we decided to take part in the 'Big Farmland Bird Count'. This is similar to the annual garden bird count, but the survey takes place on farmland and is organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. We decided to do the survey at Brocklands, where we already have bird feeders and plenty of feathered visitors and indeed permanent residents.

The survey has to be done over a half hour period, preferably in the early part of the day when the birds are most active. So on one of the few clear frosty mornings this month we did our survey. I suppose like any short survey this is only a snapshot, and to be honest the results were a little disappointing. But we had plenty of activity around the bird feeders with various tits and finches vying for the nuts and seeds, and the robins clearing up on the floor. There were also larger groups of Canada geese, and starlings passing overhead, and plenty of the inevitable crowd of jackdaws.

Towards the end of the half hour we were rewarded with the colourful arrival of a flock of goldfinches which was great. But few of our known regular visitors bothered to put in appearance for the count, such as the Tawny owl who spends a lot of time in the barn, and the Little owls who come to hunt in the long grass, the pair of buzzards who look like they are thinking of nesting nearby, the herons and the jays, and of course too early in the year for the curlews, lapwings and oyster catchers. However it was an interesting exercise, and one we will definitely do again next year, when we will be able to see if there's any change year on year.

January 2016

After two months of incessant rainfall, with the turn of the year, dare one now look forward to the spring and some more clement conditions? If so, one's thoughts turn to planting and growing things again, and in response to requests and suggestions from many families and visitors we have revised both our wildflower options and the tree lists .

The planting of bulbs and wildflowers has proved increasingly popular over the last few years, and so we are offering a wider selection for planting. As ever we request families not to bring their own plants and bulbs as this runs the risk of compromising the pure native element of all our planting schemes. All the wildflowers are offered at cost price, and we will plant these for you at no extra cost, or supply them for you to do the planting if you wish.

As for the trees - we have learnt the hard way that some tree species will grow much more readily at Brocklands than others, and so we have tailored the lists accordingly. We have this year extended the lists to give as much choice to families as possible, whilst adhering to our core principle of creating a natural woodland that is in keeping with the local landscape and ecology.


September 2015
One of the features of the developing woodland at Brocklands is the plethora of fruits and berries that start to appear in the late summer and autumn, which the increasing bird population on the site make the most of at this time of year. Here are some photos of typical examples of this, including hazel nuts for the first time at Brocklands, which have had a bumper crop.
Wayfaring tree berries
Crab Apples
Spindle berries
Hazel nuts
Rowan berries
Guelder Rose berries


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