Willow coffins

I’ve been down in Somerset for a few days, having brought the younger chickabiddies back so that Poppet could get her GCSE results – not as good as she was hoping for, poor lass.
The Somerset Levels and Moors, as some readers may be aware, is the home of the English willow industry, although not to the extent that it would have been a hundred years ago. Nvertheless, you can still see fields of withies being grown and ranks of stripped withies being dried in some places. I have a toggie to illustrate, but am unable to upload pictures at the moment due to being away from my own computer.
There’s been a lot of interest in recent years in green burials and Somerset has been one of the areas where that interest has been strongest. Willow coffins have been occasionally used because they are the ultimate biodegradable burial container – no need for any other materials to be used for handles or hinges with withy. And, they look so good as well. Driving through Bridgwater today I saw a van advertising these coffins and felt it would be good to share the information with a wide-ish readership. Here’s the link. Personally, I think they look charming and far less terrible and ghastly than the modern chipboard-and-veneer options that are pressed upon vulnerable people at vast prices. May this company prosper in their venture!

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4 Responses to “Willow coffins”

  1. Alcuin Bramerton Says:

    There is more to life than GCSEs, Pat. There are portals to be located. There is interdimensional travel. There are angels to meet. Chickabiddies are not taught these things at school.

  2. Pat the Chooks Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Alcuin. I should elaborate: I am very proud of my kids and know that academic achievement is not the be-all and end-all of things, and Poppet is not the most academic of people, but she is a delightful person with a real heart for others. She did okay in her art subjects, where she has real talent. I can’t help but be proud of all of my kids for who they are and their inate character.
    The thing about academic qualifications is that they open up choices to people that they wouldn’t otherwise have: choices in terms of access to academic courses and institutions, careers and the like. Success – or the potential for success, however you measure it – is not a correlant of qualifications, but the range of opportunities to be successful is. Unfortunately, only the first part of this premise appears to be part of the thinking of young people today – and again, this is not a criticism of individuals per se.

  3. Jude Says:

    Re the coffins – the willow ones are certainly appealing. But here in Australia the use of cardboard coffins is being promoted. See: http://www.lifeart.com.au/enviroboard_story.asp.
    Although personally, I’m all for cremation.

  4. avenatura Says:

    I just wrote about green burial. http://avenatura.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/green-burial-return-to-earth/
    I think it’s definitely the way to go. If you live your life trying to reduce your carbon footprint, why not in death as well?


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