Memorial benches and trees

Rochford District Council has many beautiful parks and open spaces throughout the District where many of our residents enjoy spending their leisure time. These parks range from the quiet tranquillity of Hockley Woods and Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park, where you can catch a glimpse of the wildlife that inhabits these areas to the more formal parks such as Brooklands Gardens in Rayleigh or the Recreation Grounds in Rochford, where you can watch children playing or take a stroll with friends. The Council understands the desire to mark the passing of a loved one in a place that they have enjoyed so much by the placing of a bench or planting a tree.

Benches

We are able to offer four types of benches: Informal backed or non backed benches which are handcrafted by our Woodlands Team from English Oak (locally sourced from Hockley Woods), these are used in open spaces such as Hockley Woods, Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park & Sweyne Park. Formal benches which are used in the in the formal parks across the District. Cemetery Benches for use at Hall Road and Rayleigh Cemetery.

Prices including installation with a five year maintenance agreement are:

  • Informal backed bench £439.90 - currently unavailable
  • Informal non-backed bench £337.60 - currently unavailable
  • Formal bench £639.40
  • Cemetery bench £1750.00

Memorial plaques may be attached to the bench, please refer to the plaque section for more information. The bench and foundations will be maintained and repaired as deemed necessary by the Council. The ground below the bench will be reinforced with path gravel; this reduces the weeds and provides a durable surface for users. In some cases a concrete pad may be used for the installation of the bench, this decision will be made by the Council at the time of installation.

Please note benches have an expected minimum life and will be maintained for a period of five years. After this time the bench may need to be removed. Customers will then be given the option to replace the bench with a new one at extra cost, if required, or relinquish the site.

Memorial trees

Trees are a living part of our landscape and enhance the beauty of our open spaces. They are commonly used to mark the passing of a loved one by siting them in a place that may have been special to them. We encourage the planting of semi-mature native species of trees such as Oak, Cherry, Hornbeam, Lime, Field Maple, Pear and Crab Apple.

The Council will order the tree on your behalf. The cost of the tree will be £153.50 + VAT. This includes a guard and stake to protect the tree from rabbits and deer. This will be removed once the tree has outgrown the risk. Trees that fail within the first year of planting will be replaced at the Council’s expense, any further replacements will be at the expense of the customer.

A memorial plaque may be attached to a purpose designed post at the base of a tree and inscribed subject to the approval of the Council, please refer to the plaque section below for more information.

The Council also operates a tree sponsorship scheme, The Heart of Oaks at Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park. An avenue of 200 Oaks were planted in 2005 to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. They are situated in the heart of the country park, with views across the Roach Valley. These trees can be dedicated for £50. For this you will receive a certificate which details of the tree number, and a map showing the location of the Heart of Oak Avenue.

Please note we do not allow memorial plaques to be placed in front of these trees

Memorial plaques

Plaques can be fitted to your memorial bench or attached to a purpose designed post at the base of your tree; however you will need to order this separately. Plaques on memorial benches must be a maximum size of 175mm wide x 75mm high Plaques for memorial trees must be a maximum size of 120mm wide x 100mm high. The inscription on the plaque is restricted to ‘In memory of’ the name of the person, recognition of public office (if appropriate) and the dates of birth and death.

Please note that there should be no more than four lines of inscription on the plaques and the wording is subject to approval of the Council.

Locating memorial benches and trees

Currently there are 28 parks and open spaces throughout the District where memorial benches and trees can be sited.

If you are interested in a memorial tree or bench, please contact the Customer Services on: 01702 318111 or email us using this form