Pet cemetery plan for Purbrook woodland

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A PET cemetery is being proposed to pay for the upkeep of a large stretch of woodland.

Environmentalist Terena Plowright is hoping to help return Johnston’s Coppice, off Purbrook Way, Purbrook, to its former glory.

Terena Plowright at Johnston's Coppice''Picture: Malcolm Wells (133211-1892)

Terena Plowright at Johnston's Coppice''Picture: Malcolm Wells (133211-1892)

The landowner, Hampshire County Council, has seen cuts to its budget, meaning it can only afford emergency repair work at the 25-acre wood.

But dog-lover Terena has come up with a novel way of paying to improve the woods.

She wants to set up a natural burial site for people’s pets.

Terena, who lives in Petersfield and set up a human natural burial site near East Meon several years ago, said: ‘I want to set up a pet cemetery very similar to the one I set up at the South Downs Natural Burial site.

‘That means there will be no headstones. People would pay to have their pets buried here and that money will be used to manage the woodland.

‘What I really want to do is get it back to a level of management where some of the butterflies and rarer species return. It means Hampshire County Council’s money can go into schools.’

Terena, whose background is in sheep farming, is known nationally as the woman who set up the Greening campaign.

More than 250 villages and towns are now signed up to the scheme, which aims to reduce people’s energy usage.

The 51-year-old is hoping the community embraces her new project and wants to set up volunteering opportunities in the woods.

She added: ‘Back at the turn of the century, this woodland was an attraction for butterfly specialists. Recently what’s happened is these smaller pockets of woodland don’t get managed, so we have got to find a different way of providing the money to manage them effectively to maintain the biodiversity.’

Planners at Havant Borough Council will make a decision on the proposal at a later date.