First pet cemetery in Hampshire opens at Bishop's Waltham
A GRAVEYARD in Bishop's Waltham has opened Hampshire's first pet cemetery for animals that have sadly died.
A small area of land has been set aside to house the ashes of pets at West Hoe cemetery, in Little Shore Lane.
The site is currently the final resting place of Piper, a beagle owned by Robin Howe, chairman of the cemetery committee.
Mr Howe said: ‘Piper’s death was tragic to say the least, having died following a car accident.
‘We hope the cemetery will give people the opportunity to maintain their connection with their beloved pet.
‘The feedback we have had has shown people are absolutely delighted.’
The idea was first proposed two years ago, with a planning application being made following a Facebook survey.
Residents were ‘deeply encouraging’ of the idea, according to cemetery committee member Lindsay Edge.
She said: ‘Many people responded to the survey saying it would be a nice addition to the area.
‘Members of the committee visited the South Downs Natural Burial Site, and they said they had to turn down pet remains.
‘So we were sure there was a need.’
The site is outside the conventional cemetery, separated by a fence and a gate, with plans for a sign to be commissioned.
Mr Howe said it would give those wishing to remember a human and animal family member the opportunity to ‘tick two boxes at once’ when visiting the cemetery.
The plots have been designated as suitable for smaller pets, such as dogs, cats, and guinea pigs.
Bereaved pet owners can request a plot online at the parish council website, with plots costing £90 and plots with a plaque costing £120.
The committee plans to build a natural burial site, allowing for burials that reject caskets or coffins.