Pet Cemetery, Dorset

May 16, 2020

Dorset pink poppy fields at sunrise 2022

Sunrise and mist at a Dorset pink poppy field.

Pet cemetery in a wood in Dorset.

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.

"Alfie, a lovable rogue", buried in a pet graveyard in Dorset woodland.

“Alfie. A cheeky rogue of the highest, but most lovable, order! Thanks for 16 yrs, Fred.”

Bonnie's grave in a pet cemetery hidden away in Dorset woodland.

“Bonnie. Always in our thoughts, forever in our hearts.”

Mickey and Jack reunited in a pet cemetery in a Dorset wood.

“Mickey. Back with Jack. Together Forever.”

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.

Woodland pet cemetery, Dorset

The pet memorials in a Dorset wood.

Jack, Treacle and Mickey.

Jack, Treacle and Mickey.

Jessie and Jack at a hidden pet graveyard in Dorset woods

Jessie and Jack.

The beautiful Dorset woodland setting of the pets' final resting place.
The beautiful Dorset woodland setting of the pets’ final resting place.
Tess's memorial cross.

“Tess

Treacle the cat - memorial.

Treacle. You came, you purred, you conquered!”

Treacle's final resting place in a Dorset wood

Treacle’s final resting place.

"Jasmine. 2004 - 2021"

“Jasmine. 2004 – 2021″

Pet graveyard in a wood, Dorset

The pet graves in the dappled shade of a Dorset bluebell wood.

Latest Blog Posts…

Dorset Henbane – Rare, Poisonous & Vulnerable

Dorset Henbane – Rare, Poisonous & Vulnerable

Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) has got to be one of the weirdest looking plants there is, certainly in this country. Not only that, it’s highly poisonous, smells sickly sweet and only flowers biennially (every two years). Once seen, never forgotten.

read more
Dorset’s Wild Orchids 2022

Dorset’s Wild Orchids 2022

We are lucky in Dorset because we have what is possibly the best site for early spider-orchids in the UK. Ophrys sphegodes is also the first orchid to flower each year, heralding the start of the ‘orchid season.’ This year, I also found a woodcock orchid x Fly orchid hybrid, growing on a steep, Dorset hillside.

read more