Who can Use the Natural Burial Grounds?
Everyone is welcome to use our natural burial grounds. We will do our best to accommodate your requirements.
We welcome any belief, faith, religion, church or denomination . The burial grounds themselves are not consecrated. Although plots can be bought in advance, when the time comes individual plots or graves can be consecrated as desired, depending on the belief, faith or religion of the deceased or their family.
What Types of Burials can Take Place?
Our plots are suitable for coffin burials or for cremated remains (please note that we do not allow scattering of remains). Two or more plots may be secured together to allow family members or loved ones to be buried alongside each other.
Smaller plots are also available for cremated remains if preferred, although single cremated remains plots are too small for tree planting. There are other ways to memorialise loved ones that are buried in a single cremated remains plot, such as a plaque, bird nesting box, bat roosting box or a bench.
Our graves are prepared for one burial in each plot as this allows us to prepare the graves by hand, so avoiding the use of machinery, which in turn protects the flora and fauna in our burial grounds and ensures the safety of our staff.
When are the Burial Grounds Open to Visitors?
The sites are open from dawn until dusk in the winter months and from early morning until the evening in the summer. A superintendent or other member of staff will likely be onsite at various times during the day and appointments can be made to meet with them to discuss any matter relating to arrangements for burials, the operation of the burial ground or its maintenance.
What Different Types of Plots are there?
All of our burial grounds have a choice of two main areas for burials; either Meadow or Woodland.
You will be shown each of these areas when you visit the burial ground you have chosen. This is when you can choose a plot location, or if you prefer, once we have a better idea of your requirements we can suggest a plot location for you.
Whenever possible we will also try to accommodate any wishes you may have in terms of the location of your plot or plots. Our superintendents and office staff will guide you on which parts of the burial grounds are open for burials or are suitable for the various elements that you have chosen for the burial.
Each burial ground has a specific character that is individual to its location, its surroundings and its place in the local environment. This allows for a diverse and rich variety of scenery and character that makes each of our grounds truly unique. This may also influence your choices as you look for the most appropriate way to remember a loved one.
The tabs for the individual burial grounds on the left show details and price lists of all items at each of our grounds.
Can a Loved One be Memorialised?
The grounds have open meadow glades between the woodland areas, where we have sown wildflower seeds, particularly as nearby trees grow and cast more shade. Although we cannot plant memorial trees in these open meadow areas, there are other ways to memorialise a loved one, for instance with a plaque, either in this area of the burial ground, or in another of our designated areas that you choose.
In the woodland areas you have the option of planting a tree on the grave, or if you wish in one of our specified areas on the burial ground. Planting a tree for a loved one provides a lasting memorial, enhancing the countryside for generations to come. In addition one can place any one of our other memorial items nearby, including bird nesting boxes and bat roosting boxes, designed to be fitting and lasting tributes that significantly enhance the local ecology of the area and the wellbeing of local wildlife.
Alternatively you could choose one of our locally sourced memorial benches, somewhere to simply contemplate and reflect in a peaceful place of natural beauty to remember your loved ones.
We plant trees on specific occasions during the year in the seasons best suited to the generation of sustained growth for that particular species of tree. If the deceased’s burial takes place outside of these seasons you will be invited to be present when your enduring memorial to a loved one is planted.
We offer you a selection of native trees to choose from. Please consider whether or not you wish to plant a tree when first choosing a grave due to the space needed for the tree to develop, added to which some areas of the burial ground may not be suitable for tree planting.
Can I Scatter Cremated Remains?
Whilst we welcome cremated remains at all our sites, we request that they are buried rather than scattered. Scattering cremated remains changes the ecology of the soil and would impact on the natural development of the burial grounds.
We can arrange for cremated remains to be buried in a small, shallow grave, with or without a container.
Small plots are available for burying cremated remains. Many people prefer to secure a standard plot which offers space for six cremated remains as a dedicated family area, and a memorial tree can then be planted.
Are there Any Restrictions on the Type of Coffin?
We encourage the use of more environmentally friendly coffins made from sustainable materials such as wicker, bamboo, sea grass, water hyacinth or banana leaf, and choosing one made in the UK from cardboard or willow is becoming increasingly popular, although we also accept veneered coffins or caskets from sustainable sources, including the more traditional designs. A simple cotton shroud is another option. We recommend you discuss your individual needs with your funeral director or we can talk you through the various options.
Please note that whilst we do not encourage the use of traditional embalming techniques, we recognise that we cannot exclude them.
What Legal Right do I have to my Plot?
As with all cemeteries and burial grounds, the purchase of a plot, whether in advance or as required, brings the right to use the area for burial and not the freehold ownership of the land, however, our burial grounds are managed for the express purpose of promoting and protecting wildlife and the habitats we create for them to flourish in for the long term.
If securing a plot in advance, once you have confirmed your purchase, the plot will be maintained and kept available for use at all times for the length of the licence. Further details can be found in our Rules and Regulations or by contacting the main office on the (0116) 222 0247.