Status: 02.10.2023, 10:12 a.m.
By: Petra Schafflik
The funeral forest Waldruh Amperland at the place of worship received the ecclesiastical blessing from Pastor Michael Bartmann and Pastor Ulrike Markert in the presence of some guests. © horsepower
It is located on a small hill, with a view of the mountains, in the silence of centuries-old trees: The first funeral forest in the region is called Waldruh Amperland and was inaugurated with a celebration. But it was a long journey to get there.
BY PETRA SCHAFFLIK
Hebertshausen/Röhrmoos – "Today is a very big day for us as a family." With these words, Clemens von Trebra-Lindenau welcomed the many guests who had gathered on Friday afternoon in the forest of the von Trebra-Lindenau family above Reipertshofen in glorious autumn weather. The occasion was the ceremonial opening and ecclesiastical blessing of "Waldruh Amperland", the only funeral forest in the district and the surrounding region to date. The ceremony was attended by the mayors Dieter Kugler (Röhrmoos) and Richard Reischl (Hebertshausen), district administrator Stefan Löwl, member of the state parliament Bernhard Seidenath, representatives of the Röhrmoos and Hebertshausen municipal councils, craftsmen involved in the design and interested citizens.
Project initiator Clemens von Trebra-Lindenau was pleased and relieved during his short speech. After all, the project of a funeral forest, which he hoped to implement quickly with initial ideas in 2016, took seven years in the end. Again and again, the concept and contractual bases had to be adapted in order to meet all official requirements. But recently it has been possible to remove all hurdles out of the way. "It's a dream come true," says von Trebra-Lindenau.
A lot of positive feedback and encouragement came from the representatives of politics. The piece of forest on which the funeral forest is located, "the only real forest cemetery in our district," according to Röhrmoos Mayor Dieter Kugler, belongs partly to Hebertshausen, partly to Röhrmoos. Two local councillors, two administrations and two mayors were involved, according to Kugler, who praised the "beautiful and good cooperation".
But it was apparently still an arduous work. After all, District Administrator Löwl called the development of the project "a struggle" with official requirements. The result of this endeavor, the Waldruh Amperland, which presented itself on Friday with a magnificent view far into the foothills of the Alps, was appreciated by all speakers. "With a view of the Alps, the relatives may find a certain comfort," said Mayor Kugler. The district administrator also hopes that "in one of our most beautiful forests, the relatives will be able to cope with their grief and recharge their batteries here".
Hebertshausen's town hall boss Richard Reischl called the funeral forest "a matter of the heart". This form of burial corresponds to the wishes of more and more citizens who do not want to be buried in a conventional cemetery. "And you can't imagine a more beautiful spot." Seidenath, a member of the state parliament, also praised the funeral forest as "something very special."
The two heads of the town hall presented the von Trebra-Lindenau family with flowers and a carved figure of Saint Sebastian. To this saint, among other things the patron saint of forest workers, who is supposed to protect the funeral forest from adversity, the small protective chapel was consecrated, which is built entirely of wood at the entrance to the forest area under two mighty oaks.
The ecumenical church consecration was performed by Pastor Michael Bartmann and Pastor Ulrike Markert. Markert called the chapel a place of mourning for all those who bury their loved ones in the funeral forest. "But it's also a place where they can find hope." Led by the Schönbrunn brass band, which provided musical accompaniment to the ceremony, all guests made their way to the place of worship further in the forest. There, Pastor Bartmann and Markert once again spoke an ecclesiastical blessing, symbolic of the entire Waldruh Amperland funeral forest.
A place where mourners can draw hope: the chapel, built entirely of wood, was also inaugurated. On the left, the von Trebra-Lindenau family, owners of the forest. © horsepower
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Waldruh Amperland, the only funeral forest in the region to date, is located on a hill north of Reipertshofen. The forest there is characterized by a diverse mixed forest with tree species such as spruce, fir, Douglas fir, larch, style oak, red oak, maple, rowanberry, birch, beech, hazelnut, cherry and elder. The forest, in which the deceased can find their final resting place, is located partly in Hebertshausen, partly in Röhrmoos and is - since the funeral system in Bavaria is a municipal task - formally a municipal cemetery in each of the two villages. Special rules apply to the final resting place in the forest. For example, grave decorations or gravestones are not permitted, grave care is reserved for nature. As a final resting place, an urn grave under a resting tree can be selected or a family tree, at the foot of which up to twelve urns can be buried. The funeral forest is open to visitors at any time, and there are also public guided tours for those interested. Information is also available at waldruh-.amperland.de. horsepower