The Toast of Surrey Business Awards are back for a seventh consecutive year. The awards take place on Thursday April 23 in Woking’s HG Wells centre, and we are delighted that Surrey Hills Enterprises member Clandon Wood Surrey Hills Natural Burial Reserve have been nominated for a Green Award. The founder of the award-winning ‘green’ cemetery, Simon Ferrar says natural burial sites help to create new and sustainable environments for wildlife. Simon opened Clandon Wood Surrey Hills Natural Burial Reserve in West Clandon in June 2013. Since then it has won a number of awards, including being voted Cemetery of the Year 2014/15 by The Good Funeral Awards, and winning Green Flag status from charity Keep Britain Tidy. Judges at the Funeral Awards said one of the reasons it won cemetery of the year was due to a combination of outstanding client care, combined with the creation of a sacred space. Mr Ferrar, business development manager of Clandon Wood, said: “We have worked very hard to create a green space that not only supports an abundance of wildlife but that provides families with somewhere quite special and unique to hold a funeral. Natural burial is calm and unhurried and for any denomination whatever your faith or beliefs.” A natural burial sees the body being buried in its natural state, in a shallow grave, using a biodegradable coffin. Clandon Wood said its site is providing vital habitats for a number of rare species, such as skylarks and the small blue butterfly, Cupido minimus. Fran Hall, operations manager, said: “Natural burial also provides an obvious solution to the growing shortage of burial space in local authority cemeteries across the UK and is a really responsible and ecologically sound alternative to cremation.” The group has become the first natural burial ground to join forces with a local authority, providing Mole Valley District Council with burial provision when it runs out of space in a few years’ time. Click here to find out more about the Clandon Wood Surrey Hills Natural Burial Reserve.