The Epsom Butterfly Garden formerly opened by the Mayor on 8th June 2012 was built in partnership with Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. Funded entirely by the fundraising efforts of a small group of Surrey Sands parents in memory of their babies, it took just over 2 years from its inception to raise £43,000 to complete the garden.
Perfectly located in the elevated south extension of Epsom cemetery it offers a pretty and tranquil place for bereaved families to spend some quiet time in thought whilst enjoying the distant views.
Defined by a low boundary wall suitable for seating and approached by a long pathway, the garden leads visitors on a journey to a central paved butterfly generously donated by Stonemarket. Here there are two benches where visitors may sit and view the two memorial walls on which parents can purchase a plaque dedicated to their baby.
Chessington Garden Centre was contracted for both the design and build of the project.
The beautiful Portland stone sculpture depicting the everlasting bond between parents and their child was designed and created by Simon Buchanan. Inscribed around the base are the words:
“There was never a time when I was not, nor you nor these children were not, nor will there ever be a time when we shall cease to be”
A beautiful slate tablet sited in the flower bed in front of the rear entrance was made and donated by Lodge Brothers. It has inscribed on it a well-known butterfly poem.
The unique arch over the rear entrance/exit was made and donated by Fire and Iron Gallery, with some of the parents having a privileged opportunity to help make the butterflies.
Losing a baby sets parents on a life long journey of grief and those long ago bereaved often had no idea where their baby was laid to rest. Parents now benefit from a greater level of support and the opportunity to have a private funeral for their baby. The garden will provide parents of all generations whether their baby was buried or cremated a tranquil place to sit and reflect on their loss.
Reduced size grave spaces immediately outside the rear of the garden, accessed via the arch, will be reserved for the burial of babies. A small number of family pots will be reserved outside the front boundary wall of the garden for those who wish to be buried with their baby in the future.
An area for the interment of baby ashes will also be provided outside but close to the garden; there will be no facility for this within the garden itself to keep it a neutral place for all families to enjoy and take comfort from.
We respectfully ask that no gifts are left in the garden as they will be removed.
“Leave only footprints….take only memories”.
Butterfly plaques may be ordered from Sue Bonner, Cemetery Manager, on 01372 732491. The cost is £130 (September 2015).