A Pagan plot for witches to rest in peace

The Electronic Telegraph Monday 4 March 1996
By Paul Stokes

PRACTISING Druids, witches and shamans are seeking a permanent burial ground in Wales, the heartland of Britain's pagan following.

The Pagan Funeral and Hospice Trust hopes to secure at least one site of half an acre in which to bury 400 followers "close to their ancestors". Some members would like to be buried near leylines or sacred stones.

Others have requested biodegradable cardboard coffins and want trees to be planted on their remains.

Claire Prout, a white witch who is the trust's national co-ordinator, said: "We will be catering for the needs of people who are looking for alternative burial arrangements.

"The whole ethos of the pagan religions is the preservation and worship of the earth, so of course our members want natural burials.

"Memorials like headstones are not everyone's cup of tea. We would prefer to be buried on a sacred site which will be preserved naturally for generations to come."

Any site will have to be easily accessible and with top-soil deep enough for burials. Once the land is in use a warden will be employed to care for the burial ground and to discourage sightseers.

Ms Prout, 36, who is a midwife in London, said: "We hope this will be the start of something much bigger. After a 10-year fight to persuade the Charity Commission that we're not Satan worshippers we've won charitable status and that will help our credibility."

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