In 2015 we were approached by Adam Blakester of Starfish Initiatives and Kevin Hartley, who worked for many years in the funeral industry and is a longtime advocate for socially just and ecologically appropriate burials. After hearing their plans, we agreed to offer part of Banded Bee Farm as the site for a proposed natural burial ground. It has been a long process, with many environmental and heritage investigations conducted, Earth Funerals being set up as a Charitable Trade Company and the preparation of a very detailed Development Application which will be considered by Uralla Shire Council in 2019.
The model developed by Kev and Adam provides for some money from each burial to fund native revegetation projects. Banded Bee Farm will not receive any income if the proposed burial ground goes ahead, but we would be the first property to be revegetated using this fund. As we are hoping to put almost half of our 16 hectares back to native vegetation, this would be an enormous help and speed up the plantings, which we have already begun.