A FAMILY-RUN natural burial ground near Hay-on-Wye has scopped a top prize at the National Cemetery of the Year Awards.

Hay Meadow Burial Ground, nestled in Glascwm, had success at the awards which aim to recognise businesses and the role they play in the community.

The Memorial Awareness Board has been promoting and organising the Cemetery of the Year Awards for nearly 20 years, with Hay Meadow Burial Ground named winners of the 2020 silver prize in the Natural Burial Ground category.

Philip Potts of the Memorial Awareness Board said: “The awards are an excellent opportunity to reward hard-working staff and demonstrate the central role Natural Burial Grounds can play in the community.

"They provide places of peaceful contemplation and beauty, as well as their ecological importance.

"Hay Meadow Burial Ground performed exceptionally throughout the extensive judging period which is focused on industry standards, environmental issues and good practice.”

Hay Meadow Burial Ground opened in 2017 and offers both meadow and woodland burials.

Owner Richard Vale said it is a unique, natural place to be buried, hidden amongst the Radnorshire hills and in a secluded, peaceful location offset from a country lane.

The Glas Brook flows through the valley beneath, and the ground is surrounded by a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) which is home to a vast array of wildlife, heather and native fruits such as win berries.

He said: "This award is such a wonderful pat on the back for my family, it acknowledges that we really go above and beyond to try and provide a reliable, friendly and quality service.

"My wife, Sarah and I are thrilled to receive this award, as well as our three children who are all actively involved in helping families.

"This is a great achievement for our family, and we are so pleased that Hay Meadow Burial Ground now has two awards."