THE Hundy Mundy Wood Natural Burial Ground at Gordon is hoping to secure a top prize in the 12th Cemetery of the Year Awards (CYA).
Organised by the Memorial Awareness Board (MAB), the Cemetery of the Year Awards aims to reward high standards in the nation's burial grounds and encourage choice for the bereaved. Playing an integral role within local communities, burial sites act as areas of tranquillity and reflection, and are a vital social, historical and environmental resource.
Entries have flooded in from a variety of burial sites across the country including cemeteries, crematoria, churchyards, green burial sites and pet cemeteries. Closing date for entries was May 29 and site visits are taking place between now and August.
The judges will be looking at a whole range of criteria, from customer care and environmental enhancements to signage and community involvement. The awards take into account the varying degree of funding received by cemeteries, and acknowledge innovative ideas and areas of improvement.
Awards administrator Elisabeth Edvardsen said: "We are pleased to report an unprecedented number of new entries this year; with competition remaining strong across all categories.
"In 2009 we will be giving particular praise to the dedicated men and women who work hard to maintain our burial sites throughout the UK with the new Cemetery Operatives Team of the Year Award. It is important to reward the work and devotion of these essential members of society, who make our burial grounds community cornerstones as well as a place of serenity and remembrance."
Finalists will be announced early September with the winning sites being unveiled on Tuesday, September 29, during an awards ceremony hosted at the annual Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium (ICCM) Conference and Exhibition at Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth, Warwickshire.