Planning for your funeral

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in an increase in people thinking about their own funeral.  More and more people are planning their funeral service to ensure their wishes are met. This process can be extremely positive and comforting, whilst also reducing the burden for those left behind of trying to make the correct choices whilst grieving.

All of our burial plots can be chosen and paid for in advance. Be it woodland burial, interment of ashes, or choosing plots for all of the family.  Our team are available to meet you at the burial ground, answer your questions and help explain the options available.  The plot(s) can then be selected and paid for at todays price. Once paid the plot is secured, no matter how much the price of a plot increases in the future.

Our team can also help you to plan the details of your funeral service.  Once again, this can remove worry for your loved ones and will ensure that your goodbye is exactly as you wish it to be – an elaborate traditional service, a themed funeral or the most simple of direct burials and everyone invited to the pub to toast your memory.  We can help you to prepare a statement of wishes which can then be kept with your personal documents.  We do not charge for this service.

There are many aspects that you may wish to consider:

  • Vehicles – An Electric, Horse Drawn or Motorcycle Hearse.  Or even a VW Camper Van or Morris Minor.  It may be that you wouldn’t want a hearse at all.  Many people travel to their final resting place in a family or friends estate vehicle.
  • Shroud, Coffin or Casket – There are so many environmentally friendly coffins and caskets.  Cardboard, Bamboo and Willow are just a few of the options available.  Shroud burials are also popular.

Willow Pod Coffin

  • Music – Traditional hymns and songs can be sung. But also personal favorites can be played, pop, rock, reggae or classical.  What matters is what is important to you.  Recent services have included music by Queen, Status Quo, Bryan Adams and a 60’s mix.  Also theme tunes to well known TV shows and films.  We have blue tooth speakers so recorded music can be played.  Live music can also feature and can be especially personal if it is family or friends playing the instruments.
Harriet Flather, Harpist
  • Themed Services – If something has always been important to you in life, it’s appropriate that this passion is also key to your goodbye.  It can be as simple as everyone wearing a particular colour, or can be as specific and special as you wish.
  • Simple Burial – You do not have to have a service at all.  A direct burial is simple and cost effective.  What you may consider to be a more appropriate goodbye can then be arranged.  A meal or event for family and friends, or maybe a pub night for all to remember the good times?
  • Caring for the Environment – Having a tree planted on your grave will ensure a wonderful, natural legacy.  Also bird boxes or nature homes can help make a difference and encourage nature.  A wonderful parting gift for the natural world and future generations.

You can also pay for all aspects of your final goodbye with a pre-payment funeral plan.  Almost all funeral directors now have plans available, many of which provide excellent peace of mind.  However, please ensure that you ask plenty of questions and get a quote first in order to ensure that you are taking the right plan for you.  For example, make sure that you are not paying for items or services that would not be required.  And how environmentally friendly is the service offered (for example coffin options)?  If in doubt contact several companies or ask a friend for advice.  We are also able to help you if you wish.

Planning your funeral in advance is practical and beneficial and does provide peace of mind to many people.  We are here to help you and you are welcome to contact us at any time if you require further information.  Helping you to ensure that your final goodbye is exactly what you would wish it to be. Removing additional stress and worry from your loved ones.  And caring for the environment in death as well as life.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Answering your questions

We understand that whilst the vast majority wish to care for the environment, many have little knowledge of green funerals and woodland burial.  So to help, here are the answers to some of the questions we have recently been asked:

Is natural burial better for the environment? – Yes, cremation requires large quantities of fuel and releases pollutants into the environment.  Modern filtration is improving this, but issues remain.  Furthermore for natural burial, shrouds or environmentally friendly coffins are used, the grave is dug by hand and trees are planted to enhance the environment.

Is green burial more expensive? – No, plots in our burial grounds are lower than most traditional cemeteries.  Having a direct burial further reduces costs.  You genuinely can help protect the environment and save money.

Where is my local natural burial ground?  – We currently have natural burial grounds at Prestwold near Loughborough, Scraptoft near Leicester and Wrottesley Park near Wolverhampton.  Anyone can be buried at our natural burial grounds and there are no additional fees for those who live away from the area.

Are there time constraints for a green funeral service?  – We do not limit times for burials.  Services can be booked at any time, on any day, and we only have one service each day so your time is not limited.  Picnics can be held around the graveside and music played.

Can we book a plot in advance? – Yes, all plots can be personally selected and paid for in advance.

Can we bury or scatter ashes? – Yes, you can choose a plot for burial of ashes.  We also have dedicated scattering areas.

My loved one was buried elsewhere, can I have a memorial at the natural burial ground?  – Yes we have memorial woodland areas at each natural burial ground.  You may also have a plaque if you wish.

Can I leave instructions for my wish to have a natural burial? – Yes, we can help you with this.  Planning in advance provides peace of mind for those left behind and ensures that the service is exactly as you wish.  Please contact us if you require any advice or support.

Are environmentally friendly coffins expensive and are there many options? – Most funeral directors now have an extensive selection of coffins suitable for natural burial.  Cardboard, Bamboo, Wicker, Banana and Pandanus are just some of the options available.  Cardboard and Bamboo coffins and caskets are in the main a similar cost to standard traditional coffins.  Some of the hand woven Wicker coffins can be more expensive, this is due to the time and materials used to craft.  If you are having trouble sourcing a coffin or casket, or require advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Hopefully the above may answer some of the questions you may have.  There is also further information and an FAQ sheet on our website.  You can also phone or email us at any time.

We believe passionately about caring for the environment and the bereaved.  Helping you to make the right decisions is an extremely important aspect of this.

 

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Celebrating Life in Nature

“Life is a celebration.  All of it.  Even it’s end” – Joanne Harris.

Every person is unique in their life, in their likes and dislikes, In their work and their way of being.  That uniqueness doesn’t die when the person does.  So when we are thinking about a funeral service we would want to honour and celebrate that uniqueness.

Here at the Natural Burial Company we tend to refer to our funeral services as “celebrations of life”, because most often, that is exactly what they are.  That is not to say that there is not sadness and grief about the loss of the person that has been so loved.  But that those who loved them wish to celebrate and honour the life they had and the person they were.

You might think that having a funeral in the middle of the countryside would limit your options, but far from it.  We have facilitated all sorts of wonderful and unique personal celebrations and services.  Below are just a few to inspire you and show that so much is possible.

Using a funeral vehicles that reflects a person’s interest or life memories, such as a Morris Minor, VW Camper or Motorcycle Hearse.

Live music – We have recently had a violinist, a harpist and even a folk band play at services.  Recorded music, via blue-tooth speakers is also available.

Picnics and Prosecco – During the summer months in particular, we often have families taking a picnic at the end of the service.  This allows time to sit, talk and remember, close to a loved one.  We only have one service a day so you have time to remember and honour your loved one.

A Special Toast – We have been privileged to support families to serve a tot of a loved ones favorite tipple as a graveside toast.  A share of Whisky Mac went down well on a cold day!

Candlelit Memories at Dusk – We are available to support a candlelit service to support you to celebrate your loved one at a unique time of day also.  It’s quite magical under the trees by candlelight.

There are, of course, other details that can be made more personal.  For example your choice of shroud, coffin or casket.  There are so many possibilities in terms of colour, materials, patterns and designs.

Willow Pod Coffin

You may prefer not to have any form of officiant, minister or celebrant to lead the service. Instead you may wish for family and friends to say personal farewells.  We can help with this if you wish, or can recommend someone for you.

Finally, there are ways to to personally honour and celebrate the person after the service is over.  By choosing a tree, a special message on a slate memorial plaque, the installation of a personalised bench or the installation of a home for nature – birds, bees, hedgehogs, insects or bats.

This is really only a snapshot of what is possible when celebrating someone’s life with us at The Natural Burial Company.  We believe that how we say goodbye truly matters and should never be a one size fits all service.  The only limit is what you can imagine, if we can help to make it happen we will.

Do be in touch with us to discuss your ideas to celebrate the life of your loved one.  Or indeed yourself if you wished to leave instructions as to how you wish for your life to be celebrated when the time comes.

Beautiful Daffodils

 

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

A Wonderful Blog

Ruth Hickinbotham of Purple Tulip recently wrote a wonderful blog regarding Wrottesley Park Natural Burial Ground and natural burial.  Ruth is an excellent celebrant and we have worked together on many occasions caring for the bereaved.

https://purpletulip.co/blog

We believe that it is so important that every aspect of a final goodbye is exactly as it should be.  Care, support and attention to detail are paramount. Ruth achieves all of these and so much more.

Thank you Ruth, and all of the celebrants that provide such an important service to those in need.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Celebrating Nature

At The Natural Burial Company we continually marvel at our beautiful countryside.  Green burial encourages nature and we allow our meadows and all areas to grow throughout the summer.  This ensures that all forms of life are able to flourish, maintaining the wonderful natural balance.

You will find beautiful floral meadows and quiet, seemingly overgrown, areas at each of our burial grounds.  This helps so many forms of life throughout spring and summer.  The bees, butterflies and birds are apparent in abundance, although there is also so much more.

We ensure that access paths are regularly mown to allow access to all areas.  However, other than this we ensure only a light touch approach so as not to disturb the environmental balance.  In the autumn we will conduct a cut to help ensure new life for the following year.  We will also seed as appropriate to help make the area ever more beautiful in the future.

It is always our intention to celebrate nature, whilst ensuring a beautiful, tranquil place to visit and remember.  Together, making a wonderful, peaceful difference.

 

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Making a Difference and Saving Money

It is widely believed that the cost of burial is high.  For municipal cemeteries this can be true, as lack of space and other factors lead to ever spiralling prices.  However green burials are different, and beautiful, natural funerals can be arranged for a fraction of the cost.

At The Natural Burial Company we have been looking into burial prices in our local areas and have been surprised by our findings.  A green funeral at a natural burial ground is by far the most environmentally friendly funeral service available. However, as well as helping to care for nature and protect our future, natural burial will also save you money.

So to help you make informed choices we have listed below prices for each of our burial grounds compared to the local city/town cemetery.  To keep things simple we have compared full burials only.  Although similar comparative savings are available when considering cremated remains burials and memorial options.

Leicester

At our Scraptoft natural burial ground on the outskirts of Leicester a full burial plot is £750.  The interment fee (gravedigging and administration) is £435.  Therefore, the total cost of a new grave with interment is £1,185.

Compare this to the costs of a lawn grave at Leicester of £1,300 for the plot, and interment fees of £745 (total £2,045) for a resident of Leicester.  Fees for non-residents of Leicester are doubled (total £4,090).  A permit to erect a memorial adds a further £200.00

At Scraptoft, as at all of our burial grounds, you can also choose your plot and there are no additional charges, wherever you live.

Wolverhampton

Our Wrottesley Park natural burial ground close to Wolverhampton has larger overhead costs, hence is slightly more expensive than our other burial grounds.  However, whilst the plot cost of £890 and interment fees of £435 total £1,325 this is much less than the local cemetery at Danescourt.

The exclusive rights for a private plot at Danescourt costs £1,980, interment fees are £1,040 (total £3,020).  For a non-resident of Wolverhampton a 50% surcharge is added, making the total £4,530.  A memorial permit for a headstone adds £150.

There is a natural burial area at Bushbury, plots here are charged at £1,010 (add 50% surcharge for non-resident), the interment fee of £690 makes the total cost £1,700.

You can purchase a plot in advance, however an additional £150 is added for this.  No charge is made by The Natural Burial Company for choosing and purchasing a plot in advance.

Loughborough

Prestwold Natural Burial Ground near Loughborough was one of the very first natural burial grounds in the midlands, opening in 1999.  As such there are many areas and options available.  However, the vast majority of plots are priced as Scraptoft, £750 for the grave and £435 interment fees (total £1,185).

For a standard burial the local Loughborough cemetery charges £740 for a traditional grave and £498 interment (total £1,238).  A lawn grave option is available for a total for a Loughborough resident of £1,065.  Once the memorial permit cost (£158) is added, this then totals £1,223.  The memorial permit charge is also applicable for traditional graves.

As with many other cemetery authorities though, Loughborough charge additional costs for non-residents of the town.  A resident of Charnwood would need to pay double fees and one who resides outside of Charnwood would pay triple.  There is also no option at present to purchase plots in advance.

We provide this information to help you to make informed choices.  In a world where funeral poverty is real and value for money is so important for all, we believe that it is only fair that the public are aware of the options available. Everyone can make a real difference to the environment and leave a beautiful, natural legacy for future generations whilst saving money.

Note: All prices sourced from the relevant local authority websites on 9th June 2020.  We will gladly amend any pricing above if notified of change.

 

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

A Meaningful Goodbye

During these challenging times it saddens us to hear that because of restrictions many people are unable to say goodbye to a loved one in the way they wish.  Green burial is different as everything we do is aimed at providing a personal  and caring service, free of time constraints and with the minimum of restrictions.

At The Natural Burial Company we have always been proud of the personal service we can offer.  Whilst we believe that this is always essential, during the coronavirus pandemic this is even more important.

Funeral services can be arranged on any day and at any time.  We also only have one service on each day at our burial grounds – this means that you can have as long as you want to say goodbye in the way that is right and appropriate.  Music can be played and many families have also chosen to raise a toast and/or have a picnic around the grave.  This allows time to think and talk about your loved one, and to catch up with family who you may not have been able to see for many weeks.  We can supply freshly cleaned picnic blankets and can mark areas to ensure that everyone confirms to social distancing.  We can also accommodate up to 20 people attending, and will ensure that sufficient car parking and waiting areas are available to keep everyone safe.

We provide services for cremated remains as well as full burials.  So if your loved one had a direct cremation you can still conduct a full, meaningful service for them.

Natural burial provides all of this, whilst also ensuring you are caring for the environment and saving money against traditional burials.  There will also be a beautiful place to visit and pay your respects in the future.  And a wonderful, natural legacy for future generations.

Prestwold in Spring

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Introducing our Community Fund

25 Years of Care

To celebrate 25 years of caring for the environment and the community The Natural Burial Company are, throughout 2020, providing grants to local groups to support environmental projects.

Supporting the Environment

Caring for the environment is becoming more important and we applaud the work that so many are doing to make a positive difference. We know that this is not always easy and money can be tight. Therefore, community and charity groups may contact us to apply for a small grant to support this important work.

Who can apply and how?

It may be that you are a nursery group teaching children about the great outdoors, an allotment society, or a nature care group. Key is that you are local and are working to support the environment in one way or another.

To apply for a grant you simply need to email us at providing details of your group or organisation, a brief summary of the work you conduct, and how the money will be spent. Our funds are limited so we can’t help everyone, we also can’t help businesses, private individuals or political groups. However, we will do everything we can to help support the many wonderful groups who are working to make our world a better place.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Prestwold Hall Bereavement Awareness Day 17th May 2018

We are excited to announce that all details are now confirmed for our Prestwold Hall Bereavement Awareness Day for Dying Matters Week and supporting Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

The day will feature a number of presentations and an open forum allowing you to ask questions and discuss any aspect of bereavement and funerals.  We also have an exhibition featuring local service providers, bereavement support, and caring professionals who you will be able to speak to in confidence in private areas if you wish.

The day starts at 11.00 and plenty of free parking is available.  There will also be refreshments on-site.

Tickets are free but we request that you book your space by contacting us at or telephone (0116) 222 0247.

Prestwold Bereavement Awareness Day 2018 – A4 Poster

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Beautiful Autumn

Autumn 2017 1.(1)Autumn is here and the beauty of our natural burial grounds continues.  The mornings are stunning, crisp underfoot with little to hear but birdsong.  Truly wonderful places to remember away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.  Our burial grounds remain open throughout the year and all are welcome to visit to remember in an area of peace and tranquillity.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like further information or wish for a guided visit to one of our burial grounds.  We are here for the environment and for you.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park