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Nature is the focus of Harlebeke cemetery expansion: ‘More than just a cemetery’

Nature is the focus of Harlebeke cemetery expansion: ‘More than just a cemetery’

Harelbeke Cemetery will be expanded by about 11,000 square metres. There will be trails, rest areas, a tractor forest, a spreading meadow with a pond and new farms. “we chose Consciously for a natural cemetery, ”says Mayor Alan Top (Forweet), responsible for the matter. The investment costs approximately 400,000 euros.

The present part of the cemetery covers an area of ​​approximately 2 hectares. This part is designed like most classical tombs with straight, paved aisles, closely connected tombstones, plenty of thick grass and small green spaces. The extension now consists of two lots with a total area of ​​1.1 hectares, with an old classified barn of the former farm in the middle, which has been preserved.

The expansion will include an eventual star meadow, a meadow littered with a pond, a tractor forest, a flower meadow, new mini-paths, a farewell area and new plantings.

“We have deliberately chosen a natural cemetery: a buffer zone and a park between the De Stip industrial area, Deerlijksesteenweg and Arendswijk,” said Mayor Alan Top (Forweet) in charge of the cemeteries.

“There is room for traditional burial methods such as vaults and columbariums, but there is also more room for new forms of burial such as woodland littered cremation, which many people are now choosing.”


The new piece will differ from the current cemetery. It will be more than just a cemetery. We focus on two types of evergreens: open grassland rich in flowers and woodland (burial). This enhances the experience of a calm green environment. An open environment of flower lawns with winding paths provides space for walking, while closed areas make way for individual moments of mourning, reflection or personal conversation,” says Alan Top.

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“The site will be accessible by creating walkways, where pedestrians can stay on the main paths, but at the same time where people can walk along small paths. Walking rings will provide for the possibility of closing one of the two main paths, for example during the service, but at the same Time enhances the portability of the site. There will also be various benches for relaxing in nature.”


The design assignment for the extension went to De Witte Kamer of Lo.