How Return To Nature was founded

I know this is most likely not how you’re ‘supposed’ to write an About page. However, this is not a normal business.

I felt like my love for nature had only just fully blossomed, only to realise that this wondrous thing I love is in the process of dying. Walking along colourful woodlands in autumn I feel truly alive, breathing in the earthy smell of mushrooms, dampness and decaying leaves. Yet this serenity is punctured by a sadness as to what we as a species are doing to our planet. I will admit, sometimes the knowledge of what is happening fills me with such climate anxiety that my relentless optimism cannot keep me from being mired by it’s immense weight.

Death is difficult to process, be it the death of my surroundings or the death of friends or family. After witnessing a funeral and experiencing how the funeral itself was so removed from the deceased’s love of nature, I was filled with questions. Why, when we die, do we not return the elements of our bodies back to the nature that has nourished us all our lives? Why do funerals have to be so stressful to organise and experience for the people whom are most affected by the passing of their closest loved one? Why are our final acts not a symbol of planetary healing as well a moment of closure for the family?

Return To Nature is for those asking the same questions.

Return To Nature is being built as an answer to those questions, as an organisation that seeks to exists in harmony with the planet that sustains us. The entire business, from the governance model to the illustrations, is being designed for perpetuity.

The result is a woodland burial that aims to maximise the amount of positive impact for each burial. This is expressed through restoring and rewilding as much land as possible, and through using nature to support mental health during bereavement.

In many ways, creating this business is an expression of climate anxiety, a process of healing for those taking part – for staff, customers and customers’ families alike – and our planet. When I walk through the woods now, the nature seems to appear more hopeful and determined. I hope Return To Nature can will do the same for you.

– Will Brown, founder of Return To Nature

Return To Nature's founder, Will Brown, holding a sapling whilst out tree planting.

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