The Natural Burial Company is dedicated to providing burial grounds, memorials, and services to care for the bereaved and the environment. Our burial grounds are places of peace for nature to thrive and to encourage biodiversity. As such, management of these burial grounds is by “light touch” and, with the exception of paths, all areas will be left to nature.
By purchasing a burial plot, service, or memorial you are agreeing to The Regulations of The Natural Burial Company as listed below:
1. Purchase of a plot (or plots) is for the right of burial within that plot only. There is no exchange of ownership of the plot(s).
2. Only interments using environmentally friendly coffins, caskets (without plastic or metal furniture) or shrouds are permitted. Cremated remains may also be interred directly to the earth as well as in environmentally friendly urns and caskets. Only environmentally friendly clothing must be used to clothe the deceased and any personal effects placed within the coffin/casket must also be environmentally friendly.
3. Floral Tributes and flowers placed on graves must not be wrapped in cellophane, tied with florist ribbon, in oasis, or plastic trays, as these items are not biodegradable. Cut flowers are welcome. Floral tributes and flowers placed on graves will be removed after a reasonable period. Vases cannot be placed on or sunken into plots, as these pose a threat to wildlife. Balloons are strictly forbidden as they also pose a threat to wildlife.
4. Graves must not be personalised with markers, monuments, vases, statues, stones, fences, or other such items. Neither may the meadow/flowers upon and around the grave be cut without written authority. The integrity of the natural burial ground, nature and the environment are paramount. The Natural Burial Company reserve the right to remove unauthorised items and/or manage, re-seed or plant a grave without notice. Seeds and bulbs may be scattered/planted, subject to the approval of The Natural Burial Company. However, they must remain natural and flower beds must not be cultivated or developed.
5. Only memorial trees purchased through The Natural Burial Company may be planted on graves. Only native trees may be planted. Application for trees other than listed in the price list are welcome. However, it must be noted that the final decision regarding the planting of a particular species of tree will be with the management. All trees are guaranteed for a period of 5 years from planting. It must be noted that trees may be cut or in some cases removed by The Natural Burial Company without notice if they preclude the development of other trees, are obstructing a footpath or a grave, or for health and safety reasons.
6. The Natural Burial Company cannot be responsible for damage or loss to any items placed upon graves or in any area of the burial ground.
7. Whilst efforts will be made to keep soil away from graves, it must be understood that on occasions when neighbouring graves are excavated, spoil from that grave may temporarily cover other graves. Every effort will be made to minimise this, reduce the time any such is action is required, and to make good all graves once the interment is complete. Graves may from time to time be “topped up” by The Natural Burial Company if required or deemed appropriate.
8. A simple plaque, purchased from The Natural Burial Company, may be used to mark the grave. No other marker may be used. The memorial plaques supplied are provided with a five-year guarantee. It must be noted that plaques may have slight variations in style and/or colour and may have apparent marks or imperfections. Such variations are typical of natural materials and have no impact upon the quality of the memorial.
9. Dogs are not allowed within the burial grounds except for guide dogs and well-behaved dogs on a lead. Any fouling must immediately be cleared up and removed from the burial ground. Dogs must be kept to paths only and every effort must be made to ensure they do not walk on graves.
10. Unless attending a service, or to help the disabled or infirm, motor vehicles are restricted to the car park only.
11. No litter. There are no litter bins at the burial grounds and all litter must be removed from the burial ground.
12. No sunbathing, recreational play, ball games or other activities that may have a negative impact upon visitors to the burial ground or are not respectful to the burial ground or the environment are allowed. This includes the drinking of alcohol at the burial ground unless as a toast at the time of burial or at picnic during or after a funeral service. In such a case authorisation must be provided. Picnics during and after burial services are welcomed, however, consideration must be made for other visitors to the burial ground and the environment. Appropriate respect must be maintained at all times. This includes removing all litter.
13. Photography and videography are permitted. Although the privacy, dignity, and respect of others at the burial ground must be maintained at all times. No person at the burial ground may be photographed or their image taken in any way without permission.
14. Other than access paths the burial grounds will, in the main, be left to nature throughout the year. Accordingly, areas may be overgrown with plants, flowers and grasses as nature intends. This allows nature to thrive and promotes biodiversity. Whilst some plants may be considered weeds by gardeners, they remain beneficial to nature and the environment, therefore they are welcomed. The burial ground will be sympathetically cut at the end of the growing season.
15. For environmental reasons the deceased may not be embalmed or subjected to hygienic treatment prior to the burial, unless in exceptional circumstances whereby approval must be received from The Natural Burial Company. Treatment using environmentally friendly products is acceptable.
16. Grave plots, once purchased, may be returned to The Natural Burial Company if a written request is received by the grave owner or a legal representative providing appropriate authorisation. Upon receipt of the request a refund will be made, minus deductions from the original sum paid for any commissions paid to landowners, an annual maintenance fee for each year since the purchase of the plot, and an administration fee. No grave plot can be returned once a burial has taken place, even if an exhumation has been conducted.
17. No burial can be conducted until the appropriate paperwork is received, including the Registrars Certificate or Coroners Order confirming that burial can take place. All grave excavations will be conducted by an employee or approved contractor of The Natural Burial Company. A representative of The Natural Burial Company must be present at every burial, scattering or memorial event conducted at the burial grounds.
18. No exhumation will be permitted unless the appropriate application has been submitted and legal documentation authorising the exhumation received.
19. The Natural Burial Company reserves the right to refuse a burial if the above conditions are not met.
20. As an area left to nature, the burial grounds may have uneven and overgrown paths, and there may be various natural hazards. Paths can also become damaged and/or challenging due to weather conditions or wildlife. The Natural Burial Company cannot accept any liability for accidents, injury, or damage to any visitor to the burial grounds or cars entering, leaving, or parking at the burial grounds.
21. The Respect Policy (see separate sheet) must also be always adhered to whilst visiting the natural burial grounds.
22. Please inform the management of The Natural Burial Company on (0116) 222 0247 or by email if you are aware of any issue or concern regarding the natural burial grounds.
23. The Natural Burial Company reserve the right to amend these Regulations at any time if appropriate. A copy of which shall be available to read on each burial ground noticeboard and on our website www.thenaturalburialcompany.co.uk Paper copies are also available upon request from our head office.
Adherence to the above is essential to maintaining the integrity of the natural burial grounds and to ensure nature can thrive. Accordingly, it is the duty of The Natural Burial Company to enforce the above regulations without notice.
We are all becoming more environmentally conscious. Greater awareness and understanding of the importance of helping to care for our planet is resulting in people making more environmentally friendly choices.