Ashes scattered in space

New Midlands crematorium offers out of this world opportunities

A newly-opened crematorium in The Midlands is offering families an opportunity for a final farewell which is out of this world.

Mercia Forest Crematorium, in Broad Lane, Essington, has been built to serve the communities of Walsall, Wolverhampton, Cannock and surrounding areas.

It has been developed by Westerleigh Group, one of the UK’s largest independent owners/operators of crematoria and cemeteries, with 37 other sites across England, Scotland and Wales, all set within beautifully-landscaped gardens of remembrance which provide pleasant, peaceful places for people to visit and reflect.

Following its recent opening, Mercia Forest Crematorium has not only launched its funeral services but also a very special partnership with Aura Flights which means that people can now choose to have cremated remains scattered in space.

With Aura Flights, a loved one’s ashes are placed into a special scatter vessel which is attached to a space-capable hydrogen balloon which carries them up around 100,000 feet, where they are then scattered.

There’s an alternative option where a token quantity of ashes is taken up 100,000 feet but then brought back down to Earth and returned to families.

The Aura Flight services are among the many options available to local families at Mercia Forest Crematorium, which aims to help people create uniquely personal final farewells for their loved ones, all delivered with the exceptional care that Westerleigh Group is renowned for.

Families can find out first-hand everything that the new crematorium – one of the most environmentally-friendly in the country – has to offer on Saturday 2 September when it hosts a community open day.

Local people will be able to tour the ten-acre site and explore its beautiful woodland grounds, as well as its light, airy and welcoming contemporary chapel building. Visitors will be able to see the crematory too, if desired.

And they will be able to meet the friendly Mercia Forest team, led by manager Joanne Taylor, and ask any questions they may have.

Joanne said: “My aim is to make Mercia Forest Crematorium a place where everyone feels welcome, a truly multi-denominational space for the bereaved.

“I believe this crematorium will be a welcome addition to the surrounding communities, providing much-needed gardens of remembrance and a space for people to reflect and remember their loved ones in a way that is uniquely personal to them.

“The new ‘ashes-in-space’ service is just one of the many options we can offer people, as we provide a full range of options, from fully-attended funerals to witnessed cremations where the mourners can observe the coffin being carefully placed into the cremator.

“We can offer an almost unlimited choice of music, together with two high-resolution screens inside our chapel which will enable families to customise funerals with slideshows, photographs and appropriate written words.

“It’s our aim to have an extremely positive presence within the communities we serve. The whole team here at Mercia Forest Crematorium is looking forward to getting to know our neighbours.

“Everyone is welcome to come and see us on September 2 between 10am and 3pm.

“We held our first open day on July 8, two days before we fully opened for services, and more than 150 people visited, which we were delighted with.

“If you were not able to come on that occasion, we would love to see you on September 2.”

Mercia Forest Crematorium officially opened its doors on Monday 10 July. To find out more about it, and all that it offers, visit:

To find out more about the Aura Flight services, and a special offer of 10%-off for purchases made in July, should visit: