Fringe Box



Butterflies Released At Clandon Wood Surrey Hills Natural Burial Reserve

Published on: 4 Oct, 2013
Updated on: 14 Oct, 2013

Beautiful painted lady butterflies, Vanessa cardui, have been released at Clandon Wood Surrey Hills Natural Burial Reserve as a memorial to a loving husband and father.

Freya and Susie release one of the painted lady butterflies.

Freya and Susie release one of the painted lady butterflies. Picture by Dani Maimone.

Twelve-year-old Freya released the butterflies in the reserve’s wild flower meadow next to an oak tree planted in her father’s name.

Painted ladies are a migratory species originating from north Africa. Sadly they are unable to survive the UK winter. They are strong flyers with a wide distribution and can be found anywhere in the UK including the Orkney’s and Shetland in Scotland.

Adults are usually seen from late March with an increase in numbers appearing in May and June. They do breed here and may have more than one brood depending on the weather.

Simon Ferrar, founder and manager at Clandon Wood, said: “Releasing butterflies as a memorial is a wonderful thing to do. Painted ladies feed on a range of plants including thistle, bird’s–foot trefoil and red clover, all of which we have here at Clandon Wood.

“Fortunately this year’s warm weather has seen an increase in many butterfly species, which have recently been in decline. We do everything we can to encourage wildlife on the reserve and have a variety of native wild flowers in the spring and summer months to encourage as many different species as possible including birds and insects.”

Located at the foot of the Surrey Hills between East and West Clandon, Surrey’s largest natural burial ground is managed as a nature reserve creating wildlife habitats as part of its sustainable management plan. Clandon Wood has 31 acres of wildflower meadows hundreds of yards of hedgerow, a new lake and wetland site and newly planted native trees.

Rare breed Suffolk punch horses top the meadows in the autumn and sheep graze the meadows in the spring. It is the perfect place for an eco-friendly funeral in a tranquil and relaxed setting at an unhurried pace. All denominations and beliefs are welcome.

For more information  check the website at or telephone 01483 479614. For information on the Natural Death Centre Charity see its website at

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