A NEW woodland burial site has won the backing of a TV presenter clergyman.

Peter Owen-Jones, presenter of BBC Two’s Around the World in 80 Faiths, said the £100,000 woodland burial site opened off South Road, Durham, a few weeks ago was innovative and inspired; open, honest and brave.

The Anglican priest continued: “I have no doubt the Durham site will be a success. It is beautiful and will be sensitively managed and run along a mutual model which I think is a real step forward.

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“It gives people more of an emotional stake. It means that the site has something intimately to do with them. It says that you and your loved ones are in part responsible for this woodland.”

Rev Owen-Jones was speaking during a visit to the site, run by the Durham Woodland Burial Community Interest Company.

Bosses say they have been inundated with enquiries since the site was officially opened last month.

Founder Ian Rutland said: “It was great to show Peter around the site and it’s brilliant that he was so impressed.”

Rev Owen-Jones now plans to form his own organisation to create a woodland burial in southern England.