Students from Tewkesbury School designing the CPC garden

Challenging brief for Tewkesbury horticulture students

By Anna Masefield - 08 April 2015

Horticulture students from Tewkesbury School have been given an important brief, to design a Memorial and Wildlife Garden to give comfort to bereaved pet owners. Concepts are being finalised, as it needs to be completed in time for the official opening of the Cheltenham Pet Crematorium at the end of April.

Alistair Hudson is a manager for CPC, which runs the new pet crematorium on Shannon Way in Tewkesbury.

He comments: “Pets are important members of the family for many people and their loss can cause considerable distress.  In the past people would often give their pet a burial in the garden but increasingly this isn’t possible.

“CPC opened the UK’s first pet crematorium over 35 years ago near Cambridge to allow pet owners the chance to say goodbye in a dignified way.  Demand for our service has increased with people travelling great distances to say their final farewell, so we have now opened a pet crematorium in Tewkesbury and want to get everything finished in time for the official opening in April.

“We saw the imaginative garden the pupils from Tewkesbury School designed for the Malvern Show last year and we thought it would be great if they could bring their ideas and enthusiasm to a brief for CPC’s memorial and wildlife garden.”

Clare de Glanville (Pictured above right) is Assistant Headteacher of Tewkesbury School and teaches the Year 9 horticulture students. She comments:

“The students enjoyed developing the garden for the Malvern Show last year but that was temporary. It is wonderful to give them the opportunity to design a garden near to where they live, that they will be able to see develop and that their friends or family may benefit from in the future.

“To understand the brief we had a workshop with Young Gloucestershire to talk about bereavement and how it affects people. Many of the pupils had lost a pet, or knew someone that had, and it was an opportunity to talk about our emotions and how to comfort someone.

“It is great to have a real brief and to have Julie, a professional landscape gardener, to give us the benefit of her advice.”

Julie Ritchie from Hoo House Nursery started out as a landscape architect before starting her perennial and alpine plant nursery so she was able to advise the pupils on how to approach the brief.

Julie comments: “I was happy to help the students assess the garden space and how it will be used. Understanding the aspect, soil and site boundaries helps to inform an intelligent design and a well-planted garden. I hope their contribution will become part of a place that will be enjoyed for many years to come.”

The pupils were full of ideas for water features and a wildlife garden that would improve the surroundings and provide a tranquil environment for people to appreciate as they wait for their pet’s ashes to be ready.

The finished garden will be unveiled at the official opening of the pet crematorium in April to an invited audience that will include some of the pupils and their parents.

More information about CPC’s pet cremation services is available from

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