Wooling Hill Memorial Estate, New Gisborne Victoria, is partnering with Living Legacy Forest, joining the growing network of industry leaders that create the highest standard of sustainable memorials in the world.
Wooling Hill (established 1840) is Victoria's oldest cemetery. Still, it is turning a new leaf by transferring people into trees instead of tombstones. Wooling Hill is the only privately owned cemetery in Victoria. Owners Liddy and Troy Upfield are also founders of Chapter House Funerals.
Unique to this partnership, Wooling Hill and Living Legacy can offer a funeral service and perpetual memorial. Families' do not need to engage with funeral directors. A final resting place is found independently, alleviating stress at a difficult time. This also contributes to a dramatic cost saving for families.
"People are becoming trees in their afterlife, and it's changing the way we leave the world as a nation. We are creating trees and restoring ecosystems for native wildlife." Said Warren Roberts, the founder of Living Legacy.
The Legacy Forest at the Wooling Hill Estate is over 2 acres of master-planned forest that includes native Eucalypts, Silver Birch, Flowering Magnolias and Oak Trees, all set around a flowing pebbled stream.
According to Adelaide's Centennial Park, a burial or a cremation create about 160kg of carbon impact. However, with Living Legacy Forest, that impact is offset with the planting of one tree. Living Legacy also donate 200 offset trees to be planted to contribute to global reforestation and carbon reduction. “It’s a real paradigm shift to be able to leave a positive footprint," said Troy Upfield.
Troy also said, “We used to bury people downwards, and now they grow upwards; it's something your kid's children can look up to. People used to bring cut flowers to graves; now, the trees now greet them with flowers. A tree’s blossom spreads ones atoms into the universe.”
“Ashes typically are added to a tree by nutrient infusion after death, however a lot of people like to plant their own tree with their family while they are alive and have their ashes added to the tree later. In some way, we can still be there for them by coming to the same tree they planted together," said Liddy Upfield.
"Your Legacy Tree contribution gives back all the air you breathed in a lifetime, but they can also cost less than half the cost of a traditional burial so you can save the planet, and you can also save a lot of money… We plant these trees as sacred gifts to the next generation that act as guides to help us appreciate our mortality and the gift of being alive and of being a part of life" Warren Roberts.
Living Legacy Forest:
Most people do not realise how much human cremated ashes weigh, about 3 kg. A little-known fact is that trees require a pH of around 5-6 to grow; cremated remains have a very high pH of 12 out of 14. Additionally, the total salts content's pH is about 2 cups, which is a large volume.
The ashes to help a tree grow are not enough to balance the pH and salt; the tree still grows around the ashes to survive.
Human cremated ashes require treatment before they can help trees grow. Just scattering them and burying them, even with biodegradable urns, does not allow them to succeed. The urn bio-degrades and the untreated ashes do not help the tree grow.
Our organic treatment creates micro-nutrients that help trees grow. Leaders have now adopted this in the Cemetery Industry because of its proven growth results.
Wooling Hill Memorial Estate:
The Robertson family established the estate in 1840 – it was one of the district's earliest settlements. As the Robertson children had families of their own, Wooling Hill came to resemble a small village. The nine-acre orchard and four-acre kitchen garden fed the family well.
The family cemetery still stands at Wooling Hill, marked in the fashion of those times, by Italian cypresses and a hand-made post and rail-fence.
The Wooling Hill Memorial Estate was opened in 2000 by developer Wayne Davies. In early 2020 Melbourne funeral directors Troy and Liddy Upfield purchased the estate and continue the work by its past owners.