Saying Goodbye Should Not Cost The Earth

You may have seen the recent SunLife Cost of Dying 2024 Report*, this provides a breakdown of average costs for funerals, including direct cremations and direct burials, nationwide.

At The Natural Burial Company we are concerned at these findings. Our ethos is simple, Care for the Environment, Care for the Bereaved, and Fighting Funeral Poverty. Accordingly whilst not only ensuring we provide environmentally friendly funerals to encourage nature and leave a natural legacy, we also ensure our pricing is fair and provides excellent value for money.

The SunLife survey states that the average cost of a “basic funeral” which includes a limousine and a midrange coffin is £4,141. A rise of 4.7% from the previous year.

The average cost listed by SunLife for a burial service is £5,077. For comparison a burial service provided by The Natural Burial Company, with a comparable coffin, new grave and interment fees (but no limousine) is £3,030 at our Prestwold and Scraptoft Natural Burial Grounds, and £3,200 at our Wrottesley Park Natural Burial Ground. Even adding the cost of an external celebrant (average £220) the Natural Burial Funeral Service costs £1,827 less than the average (£1,657 less at Wrottesley Park).

For Direct Burial the difference is even more stark, with the average cost listed by SunLife as £1,657 without third party fees such as the plot. The cost of the Natural Burial Company Direct Burial is £1,740, which includes the plot and all fees.

The cost listed for Direct Cremation is £1,498. This is below the Natural Burial Company cost. However, The Natural Burial Company charges include plot and interment fees, and the planting of 3 trees. The price is £1,750 with an unattended interment or £1,980 with a full graveside service/celebration of life, including tree planting.

We understand that money is tight for so many people and we want to do what we can to help at this most difficult of times. Accordingly, you are welcome to contact our team at any time on (0116) 222 0247 or by email

* sunlife.co.uk/siteassets/documents/cost-of-dying/sunlife-cost-of-dying-report-2024.pdf/

Further information regarding funeral services from The Natural Burial Company can be found here Homepage – Direct Natural Funerals (funeralsdirect.co.uk)

Prices correct as at 25th January 2024.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Survey shows public demand for greener funerals

A survey, conducted by The Natural Burial Company, has provided clear evidence of public demand for greener funerals, and for more information to be available regarding environmentally friendly funeral options.

There is clear evidence that many are looking to be more environmentally friendly in their lives. However, there has previously been little research regarding demand for green and environmentally friendly funerals. Therefore, The Natural Burial Company conducted a public survey between July and September, the results of which are clear.

The conclusions of the survey are simple. Many want a greater choice of greener options and transparency in information available. More information, and availability of green funeral options is essential. Allowing the bereaved an “Informed Choice” is key.

The survey asked 20 questions, with the opportunity to provide additional information regarding personal attitudes and opinions on green funerals.

Key findings from the survey are as follows.

73% of respondents stated that they would prefer to use the services of a funeral company that worked to strong environmental standards. A further 25% stated that they probably would.

98% of respondents believed that funeral service providers should have information readily available regarding green products and services. 67% thought this should be mandatory.

When asked “what would stop you from arranging an environmentally friendly funeral” 67% stated availability of services, 41% cost and 22% lack of knowledge/awareness.

Knowledge of the cost of greener funerals also clearly illustrates confusion amongst the public. 44% believed a green funeral to be more expensive and 25% less expensive than a traditional funeral service.

Regarding planning of their own funeral service, 56% have made no specific arrangements but stated that they want their funeral to be green.

When asked specific questions, 84% stated that they would select a coffin with “green” handles such as wood or rope, rather than the industry standard coloured plastic options. A further 5% answered that they would, dependent on cost.

This attitude also encompasses other related services. 83% said that they did not want floral tributes wrapped in plastic, and 75% would prefer not to have tributes in plastic trays or using florist foam/oasis.

Christopher Doggett, Managing Director of The Natural Burial Company said “It is clear that many wish for greener funerals, and want a greater understanding of what is available to them in time of need. Having a range of greener services and ensuring transparency regarding available options is so important”.

The Natural Burial Company will be conducting a similar survey in the summer of 2024 to gauge changes in demand and awareness.

For further information, including the full survey results, please contact Christopher at

With thanks to Lili, The Countryside Celebrant, and Rachel for the photograph.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Official Opening of The Orchards at Prestwold Natural Burial Ground

The official opening of the Orchards at Prestwold Natural Burial Ground will be conducted by The Rt Hon Baroness Morgan of Cotes this coming Saturday, 9th September 2023.

Everyone is welcome to attend this event which will be accompanied by an open day between 12.00pm and 3.00pm. The opening ceremony will be at 1.00pm.

Refreshments will be available throughout the day and the Natural Burial Company team will be available to answer questions regarding natural burial, green funerals, and The Orchards.

It is the intention of The Natural Burial Company to ensure that The Orchards is developed to ensure the maximum possible benefit to the environment and the community. Accordingly, partnerships are being developed with community groups, and a sensory area is being prepared to provide sensory stimulation and many other benefits to many within society.

If you wish to visit The Orchards but are unable to attend on Saturday, or would like further information please email and our team would be happy to help.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Green Funeral Awareness Survey

In order to help The Natural Burial Company, and other funeral directors, to provide the best possible environmentally friendly services and information, we have prepared a survey to gain an understanding of public opinion regarding green funeral services. As such, we invite everyone interested to help us by completing this survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2Q62ZGW

The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete and runs between August 11th and September 11th 2023, with the results published at the end of September. Allowing funeral service providers a greater insight into attitudes towards green funeral services.

All responses are confidential and there are no right or wrong answers. We are simply interested in your views and understanding regarding green funerals.

Thank you.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

The Natural Burial Company nominated for Good Funeral Awards

The Natural Burial Company are proud to announce that we have once again been nominated in the highly prestigious Good Funeral Awards.

This year we have to date been nominated in three categories – Best Burial Ground, Best Innovative Service (for our Direct Natural Burials), and Best Bereavement Awareness Support (for Wrottesley Park Environment Day). The nominations remain open until 31st July so we may also receive further nominations. This is a great honour for The Natural Burial Company as we care deeply for providing the best possible service to the bereaved and the environment.

We have been successful in previous years, winning Best Bereavement Awareness Day in 2019 and Burial Ground of the Year in 2021. We have also been honoured to have been nominated for awards in 2018 and 2022.

The Good Funeral Awards are presented annually in conjunction with the National Association of Green Funeral Directors, and nominations are received from those involved in funeral service and the general public. Accordingly, anyone can nominate those they believe have provided exceptional service in a number of categories covering all aspects of funeral service. This years event is being held on Saturday 23rd September at the National Conference Centre, Solihull, and further details of the event and how to nominate can be found here Home (agfdgoodfuneralawards.co.uk)

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Our New Natural Burial Ground, The Orchards at Prestwold

We are pleased to announce that our new natural burial ground, The Orchards at Prestwold, is now available for full burials and interments of cremated remains. Situated close to Loughborough, the natural burial ground is easily accessible from Charnwood, Leicester, Nottingham and throughout the Midlands. In fact, as there are no additional fees for non-residents anyone can purchase a plot at The Orchards.

This new natural burial ground is being lovingly developed to ensure a beautiful resting place, ensuring a natural legacy for those in its care, and a tranquil place to visit and remember. All burials will be conducted ensuring care for the environment, nature and biodiversity.

Trees are currently being planted to encourage wildlife and a sensory area is also being developed for nature and visitors alike. Burial plots may be selected in advance, and a tree planted for a natural legacy. Alternatively, meadow plots can also be chosen, ensuring beautiful views of the countryside.

The Orchards will ensure sufficient space is available for natural burial for decades to come, allowing plots to be selected and paid for many years in advance.

Full services can also be conducted at The Orchards, with Shelters, Chairs and music provided. The Natural Burial Company can also supply refreshments if required, or you can bring your own picnic to celebrate the life of your loved one. Only one service is conducted a day, so there are no time constraints.

For further information, or to arrange to visit The Orchards, please email info@thenaturalburialcompany or telephone us on (0116) 222 0247.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Our Pre-Paid Funeral Plans

We are proud to announce that The Natural Burial Company are now an Introducer Authorised Representative of Open Prepaid Funerals who offer fair, clear and transparent funeral plans.

Prepaid Funeral Plans from Open Prepaid Funerals
Prepaid Funeral plans are now regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and as such have very strict and stringent rules around their sale which are designed to protect you the consumer. We have chosen to become an Introducer Appointed Representative (IAR) of Open Prepaid Funerals who are authorised and regulated by the FCA as a plan provider Registered No: 962403 and who will handle all the regulatory and financial requirements around taking out your plan. Open were established in 2003 and have a very experienced team who will look after the financial aspects of the plan whilst keeping us on hand to ensure your personal preferences can be met and that we maintain our relationships with the families we serve. You can jump straight to The Natural Burial Company page on Open’s website to see the standard plans and prices simply click here https://www.openprepaidfunerals.co.uk/prepaid-funeral-plans/fd/3322

When it comes to planning a funeral, it can be a sensitive topic to navigate – especially if you are a loved one planning a service or ceremony for the deceased. That’s why it may be beneficial to consider the option of a prepaid funeral plan – as you can alleviate the emotional and financial burdens from your family and loved ones by planning and paying for your own funeral ahead of time. We believe it’s all about the personal touch – which is why here at The Natural Burial Company we have chosen to be an Introducer Appointed Representative (IAR) of Open Prepaid Funerals who can provide you with a suitable prepaid funeral plan for your needs. This relationship allows The Natural Burial Company to provide Open with our expertise and guidance on how the funeral is conducted whilst they set up a plan which can be tailormade to your needs and preferences.

About Open Prepaid Funerals
Open Prepaid Funerals was formed in 2003 and provides a secure and transparent method of planning your funeral ahead of time. With a range of prepaid funeral plans to choose from, you can choose almost anything from a Simple Plan to something very detailed and unique or something as basic and low key as an Unattended Cremation plan to cater for your own preferences entirely. The cost of your prepaid funeral plan depends entirely on the funeral plan you choose your personal preference and the level of service that you require. The final cost of your funeral could include cemetery or crematorium fees, funeral notices, limousines, flowers, orders of service and many more elements to ensure your funeral is as personal as possible should you wish. The expert team of Open Advisers will talk you through this on the telephone, online using Teams or Zoom, by email or if appropriate face to face. The Open Prepaid Funerals Trust deed has been created in such a way that its purpose is to offer greater protection to you the plan holder and your family or representatives. We here at The Natural Burial Company will have the responsibility for the provision of your funeral on behalf of you through Open Prepaid Funerals.

Why Choose a Prepaid Funeral Plan?
By choosing a prepaid funeral plan, this is a simple and practical way to let your loved ones know that everything is taken care of.

Some of the main benefits include:

Removes financial burden – as the funeral plan will be paid up front or in monthly instalments, this can reduce the financial burden on loved ones when the time comes.

Can alleviate emotional stress – planning your funeral beforehand alleviates the added stress, but also provides a caring solution to reduce emotional stress on your loved ones.

Funeral Director fees are fixed – although funeral plan prices may fluctuate due to inflation, by choosing an Open Prepaid Funeral plan, the price of the funeral directors professional services is fixed at the time the plan has been bought – meaning that your plan is safe for years to come.

Contribution to Core Disbursements – your contribution to disbursements is not currently guaranteed to there is a possibility that at the time of need, in relation to disbursements only, your family may have to contribute to the cost of these if the plan value is lower than the at need cost at the time.

Individual personalisation – by choosing a prepaid funeral plan, you can decide on the theme of your own funeral yourself and ensure that everything is to your taste and personal preference ahead of the time. By choosing a local independent funeral director with Open Prepaid Funerals, you can receive a high-quality experience along with the expertise required – allowing you to be safe in the knowledge your funeral is taken care of when the time comes. Simply get in touch with us and we will arrange an appointment with an Open adviser or you can contact Open directly on 0330 660 0072 to get the process started.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Christmas and New Year Remembrance

We understand that many people wish to temporarily decorate the graves of loved ones during the festive period, therefore, we will once again be relaxing our regulations during this time, to allow tasteful personalisation of graves using natural materials.

Between Saturday 10th December 2022 and Sunday 8th January 2023, graves may be decorated, subject to items being appropriate to a natural burial ground and respectful to all within our care.

We ask that you do not place items of sentimental or financial value as The Natural Burial Company cannot be held responsible for damaged or lost items.

After 8th January 2023 any items remaining will be removed. Therefore, please remove items from graves before this date if you wish to keep them for future use.

All of our burial grounds will be open to visitors throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Please remember though that conditions under foot and in car-parks may be slippery and uneven. Please stay safe and warm.

Throughout this period our team remain available to help and support everyone.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

A Genuine Personal Goodbye

It is pleasing that so many people are now looking to arrange personal goodbye’s for loved ones. However, this can often be within traditional conventions and time constraints from service providers.

At The Natural Burial Company we believe in providing truly personal burial services to ensure that you say goodbye in the way you want, free from restrictions.

We only conduct one burial service each day. This allows totally flexibility on times and allows the option for a picnic or celebration at the grave side. Our team will remain available to help and support you at all times. Furthermore, these services do not need to be at traditional times and we can arrange burials on weekends, Bank Holidays, and in the evening. Torchlight services have also been conducted during the Spring, Summer and Autumn months.

The personalisation of the service itself can incorporate all aspects – a traditional motor hearse does not have to be used, and family and friends can act as bearers carrying and lowering the coffin/casket or shroud. The service or celebration can be conducted by a family member or friend rather than a minister of religion or officiant if you prefer. And we can provide a celebrant or simply act as “master of ceremonies” to help.

Our team can help you with putting a service plan together, and we would always recommend that there is an opportunity for those in attendance to share their own memories if they wish. Key is “getting it right”, not acting or speaking in a way that was not in keeping with your loved one. The best goodbye you can ever arrange is one that the deceased would have arranged for themselves.

Dressed Grave

Music also plays a big part in so many peoples lives, so what could be more appropriate than playing favourite or memorable songs, rock, disco, folk, punk, dance, it doesn’t matter. We have quality blue-tooth speakers so can prepare a playlist for you, or simply pass the speaker across for you to operate. Live music can also be played, recently we have had a folk group, guitarists, a flutist and even a harp playing at our burial grounds.

Environmentally friendly coffins, caskets and shrouds can be provided. These can also be decorated with flowers.

Willow Pod Coffin

In summing up, our team work with you to ensure a genuinely personal service. All in keeping with our key ethos of care for the deceased and the environment, whilst keeping our charges as low as possible. We wish to do everything we can to help you to say goodbye in the most appropriate way.

You are welcome to contact us to discuss how we can arrange a personalised goodbye for your loved one, or to pre-prepare your own service for when the time comes. Our team can be contacted at or (0116) 222 0247.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Christmas and New Year Remembrance

Our natural burial grounds will be open to visitors over the Christmas and New Year periods for those who wish to pay their respects. We will also be available for enquiries and service bookings throughout the festive period.

In common with previous years we will also be relaxing our regulations throughout this period to allow tasteful personalisation of graves.

Between Sunday 12th December and Thursday 6th January, graves may be decorated, subject to items being appropriate for a natural burial ground and respectful to all within our care.

Please do not place items of sentimental or financial value on graves as The Natural Burial Company cannot be held responsible for damaged or lost items.

After 6th January 2022 any items remaining will be removed. Therefore, please remove items from the grave before this date if you wish to keep them for future use.

May we also request that so as not to cause upset, if you spot clear contraventions of our policies please contact the office on (0116) 222 0247, please do not remove items from other graves yourself.

Finally, may we wish everyone a safe and peaceful festive period.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park