A pet cemetery, hidden away in a Dorset bluebell wood.
Hidden away in a bluebell wood, deep in the Dorset countryside, is a pet cemetery. I stumbled upon it in 2018 quite by chance when I stopped en route from a photoshoot, having seen some photogenic rhododendrons in the distance. The plants proved to not be as good as I thought, but I never forgot about the pet graveyard. Fast forward two years and I made a return visit to the cemetery, to find a couple or so more pet graves.
I’m not sure if this is a happy or sad place, but what I do know is that the pets have been laid to rest in a wonderful setting. I wonder if they’re all dogs and, if so, whether this was their favourite place to walk? Without seeing anyone to ask I’ll probably never know, because there’s no mention of this hidden pet cemetery anywhere on the web.
Actually, as I write this I can imagine going back there at night and finding the animals running around and playing together. Now would that be good, or would it be creepy? As I say I’m still in two minds about how I feel about this place.
I’m glad to see that Mickey and Jack have been reunited, but I want to know more about them. And Bonnie, what did she look like? Was she a dog, a cat, a tortoise, or maybe a gerbil? And Alfie clearly had sixteen happy years with his owner, Fred.
These are just phone photos, but I’ll be back soon to visit Belle and co to take some better photos. Both times I’ve visited the pet graves it’s been rather sunny, so I need to wait for cloudier or misty weather. In the meantime rest easy, pets.
Apologies to the pet owners who’ve emailed me about this pet cemetery to whom I haven’t replied. It’s not intentional, but sometimes I’m not around to get my email because I’m off photographing for several days at a time.
To those who have asked, no, I don’t know who the landowner is, nor whether they have given permission for these graves to be there.
UPDATE MAY 2022:
I’ve been back to the woodland pet cemetery, but only one or two new pet graves since my last visit. I’ve now found out that there is at least one cat grave here too; you can see the photos below.
The sheer amount of bluebells here makes it very tricky to access at this time of year, because if you trample bluebell plants they never flower again. In fact, it is actually illegal to either pick or tread on them, and the leaves are actually the most important part.
Since a colony of bluebells takes around 5-7 years to establish, if crushed they cannot photosynthesize and will die. Of course, nobody wants to be responsible for that happening, so wherever you see bluebells please enjoy the spectacle, but be careful not to tread on them.