About Natural Burial

We receive a lot of questions about natural burial and what we do. We also sometimes read and hear information and opinions that are potentially misleading. Therefore, in a series of blogs we aim to answer questions and put minds at rest regarding natural burial, environmentally friendly funerals, and the services we provide. If there is question you would like answering please contact our team who would be happy to help.

Is natural burial really more environmentally friendly? – Yes, natural burial allows only environmentally friendly coffins, caskets or shrouds to be used. The deceased is not embalmed. Graves are dug by hand to a depth that maximises aerobic decomposition. And the burial grounds are maintained with a light touch to encourage nature and biodiversity. Furthermore, memorial options such as bird boxes, insect habitats and hedgehog homes support wildlife. The ultimate natural memorial is also available, a beautiful tree provides a lasting legacy for future generations to benefit from and enjoy.

Are we not running out of burial space? – Whilst this may be partially true in built-up areas where land has been used for housing, retail and factories. The fact is that we have been burying our dead in the UK for tens of thousands of years without problem.  It has been estimated that if every death in the UK resulted in a burial this would count for only approximately 750 acres of land per year. There are also now over 300 natural burial grounds in the UK, a similar volume to the number of crematoria, which means that almost everyone has a natural burial ground reasonably close to their home.

Does natural burial cost more? – In many areas the cost of a plot and interment in a natural burial ground is much lower than in a local municipal cemetery. Natural burial is also comparable in cost to cremation in many areas, whilst also ensuring a beautiful, peaceful place to visit and remember loved ones.

What will happen to the burial ground in the future? – Our natural burial grounds will be left to nature, to ensure nature and biodiversity thrives and the community has a beautiful place to visit. Other natural burial grounds will be placed into trust. If you are unsure regarding your local natural burial ground feel free to contact them, we are sure they would welcome the opportunity to explain their future plans.

Can we have floral tributes at the funeral? – Yes. We simply ask that you don’t use plastic trays, florist foam (oasis) or other materials that are environmentally unfriendly. There are an increasing number of florists who offer green alternatives. And if you are lucky enough to have a garden, what could be more personal than picking a selection of home grown flowers for your loved one.

Do you really have picnics at the graveside? – Yes, during the warmer months many families have picnics at the natural burial ground. We only conduct one full burial a day, so you have the time to spend as you wish. Our team remain available for you and we can provide tea, coffee, squash and music via quality blue-tooth speakers. Our aim is to provide you everything you need to ensure a personal goodbye in a way that’s appropriate and special.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Learning about Green Funerals

We understand that many people would like to know more about green funerals but may find it difficult to find information. Therefore, we offer various options to help the public, community groups, and funeral service professionals to be more aware of how a goodbye can be as environmentally friendly as possible.

You can arrange to meet a member of our team at one of our natural burial grounds at any time, we can also visit you.

Community Groups

We can visit your community group and conduct presentations on Making a funeral greener, Cost-effective Funeral Services, or Natural Burial. The presentation can be general or can include the services provided by The Natural Burial Company. The presentation will finish with a question and answer session and information will be available to take away.

Alternatively, groups can visit our natural burial grounds for a tour and explanation of natural burial, what we offer, and how all funerals can be greener.

Funeral Service Professionals

Celebrants, funeral directors and arrangers, florists, end of life doulas and anyone involved in bereavement and funeral services is welcome to arrange to visit our burial grounds. We can also visit branches and offices to provide information to help professionals be better equipped to help support clients and the general public regarding green funerals.

The General Public

Everyone is welcome to contact us at any time for further information. You can phone on (0116) 222 0247 or email and we can send information by email or post.

A personal visit to a natural burial ground is often the best option if you are able, this allows the greatest understanding of natural burial and how we encourage nature and ensure a natural legacy for all in our care.

Our team are here to help everyone to make the right choices for themselves, their loved ones, and the environment.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

A Simple Natural Burial Service

It is important to us to ensure we offer a complete range of green funeral services. Natural funerals, direct natural burials and direct cremation with natural interment of cremated remains are all available. However, we understand that there is also a need for a simple natural burial that allows for a service for a limited number of people to attend, whilst keeping costs as low as possible.

That’s why we have developed our Simple Natural Burial Service. To allow for close family to say goodbye in person, without having to pay for a burial plot.

This is a limited service allowing The Natural Burial Company to reduce costs as much as possible. Accordingly, the plot is selected by The Natural Burial Company as is the time of the service. Up to 6 people can attend the interment and the rights to the grave are not transferred. These grave rights can be purchased at a later date though if you wish.

The total cost of the Simple Natural Burial Service is £2,250. This is an inclusive cost for all a complete burial service, including a Cardboard Coffin. You can also pay for a different coffin, and a Celebrant to conduct a service.

Further information is available at Simple Natural Burial Service  – Direct Natural Funerals (funeralsdirect.co.uk) You are also welcome to contact our team on (0116) 222 0247 or by email at any time.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Supporting Green Funerals

The Natural Burial Company have been working with our friends at The Association of Green Funeral Directors Home (greenfd.org.uk) to create a film to help improve awareness of green and environmentally friendly funeral services.

As we all become more environmentally aware, ensuring that caring for nature is also achieved when arranging a final goodbye to a loved one is ever more important. We can all rest with nature in a beautiful meadow or woodland, thus, leaving a natural legacy and ensuring a tranquil place to visit and remember.

This film is one of a series that are being produced to help explain the options available at time of need. Natural burial, environmentally friendly coffins and caskets, electric funeral vehicles, and floral tributes without using plastic or florist foam are just some of the ways in which a service can be personal and environmentally friendly. Full and Associate Members of The Association of Green Funeral Directors are all dedicated to caring for the bereaved, whilst caring for the environment and are available to provide such services and support.

This film, once completed, will be available on The Association of Green Funeral Directors website and on various social media channels. Links will be provided as soon as they are available.

Caring for the bereaved and the environment is key to everything we do at The Natural Burial Company. A complete range of natural burial services, including full funerals, celebrations of life, and direct cremations with natural interment of cremated remains can be arranged. Further details are available by contacting our team on (0116) 222 0247, emailing or visiting Homepage – Direct Natural Funerals (funeralsdirect.co.uk)

Natural burials and green funerals can be arranged throughout the country. Members of the Association of Green Funeral Directors, and other caring funeral directors would also be able to help provide information and services to help.

As well as The Association of Green Funeral Directors we would also like to thank Amy Perkins Celebrant Facebook Chris Meynell Family Funeral Directors Funeral Directors – Syston | Chris Meynell & Family Funeral Directors (meynellfunerals.co.uk) Ecoffins Ecoffins | Handcrafted, Enviromentally Friendly Coffins Prestwold Hall Leicestershire Stately Home – Weddings, Celebrations & Corporate Events (prestwold-hall.com) and Alan Barnacle Gravediggers.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Helping you to make an informed choice

When arranging a funeral service many people look for environmentally friendly options. But if the information you require is not available how do you know you are making the right decision?

For example, many “traditional” coffins have gold, silver or bronze coloured plastic handles. It is believed that up to 3 million of these single use plastic handles are used each year. Alternative handles, such as rope or wood, are available, but they are not always listed within a coffin range.

However, alternatives are available for both traditional and more modern styles of coffin and casket. Accordingly we are asking for all in funeral service to ensure that this open “informed choice” is available to all when arranging a funeral service.

To play our part in helping everyone to make an informed choice we now offer a new complete range of environmentally friendly coffins, caskets, and shrouds. For all coffins and caskets our website and literature will provide details of materials used and where it was weaved/made/manufactured. We believe that this will allow a greater understanding of not only the coffins available, but also the environmental impact they may have.

Furthermore, as supporting the bereaved and fighting funeral poverty is key to our ethos, we do make sure that our coffins, caskets and shrouds are fairly priced as well as being as green as possible.

Our range includes Cardboard, Bamboo, Willow and Woollen, as well as the Earthcare Coffin made predominantly using recycled paper and bark timber from FSC forests. We can also offer additional coffins upon request and are happy to provide the green credentials for all.

Whilst we offer a comprehensive range we do appreciate that you may have your own family funeral director that you may wish to use. Many funeral directors offer a comprehensive range of coffins and caskets and will be happy to help meet your requests. We allow all environmentally friendly coffins in our burial grounds.

We would welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have. Our team are available on (0116) 222 0247 or

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

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

Christmas and New Year Remembrance

In common with previous years, we will be relaxing our regulations throughout the festive period to allow tasteful, personalisation of graves using natural materials.

Between Sunday 10th December 2023 and Monday 8th January 2024, graves may be decorated, subject to items being appropriate to 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 8th January 2024 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.

Thank you for your help in maintaining the natural and environmental integrity of the natural burial ground.

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

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

A Celebration of Life

The ways in which we say goodbye to loved ones are becoming more personal. With a greater awareness of environmental issues, fewer religious services, and a greater desire for more personalised goodbyes, celebrations of life are growing in popularity. Full burial services, and natural interments of cremated remains after direct cremations are now regularly arranged.

At The Natural Burial Company our passion is to provide a totally personalised service to meet your needs, in line with our ethos of caring for the bereaved, the environment, and keeping prices low.

At each natural burial ground only one full burial a day is conducted, which allows as much time as you wish for the celebration or service. This time can be used for a picnic, listening to music, or simply spending time remembering your loved one. The Natural Burial Company can provide shelters, chairs, simple refreshments, and a quality Bluetooth speaker. We can also help to prepare the celebration or service, and act as master of ceremonies if you wish. A list of exceptional celebrants is also available to help conduct the service and we also work with all local ministers of religion and officiants. Key to everything, is ensuring that the goodbye is exactly as you wish it to be.

You do not have to have a traditional hearse and a discreet vehicle is used by most families. Although we are also able to provide Horse Drawn, Motorcycle, or other hearses. An Electric Hearse can also be supplied.

There are now a large selection of environmentally friendly coffins, caskets and shrouds available. From Cardboard to Bamboo, Willow, Banana Leaf and Pandanus. Likewise, Ashes Caskets are available in a large of beautiful environmentally friendly materials. Our supplier has the same ethics as us, and are a Guaranteed member of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO).

Direct Cremation is becoming an increasingly popular option, allowing cost savings and for a celebration or service to be conducted at the natural burial ground on a day and time convenient to all who wish to attend. This could be on a special day such as an anniversary, or you can simply wait for warmer weather in order to allow a picnic if the death occurred in winter.

However you wish to celebrate the life of a loved one our team are here to help. We can provide advice, support and guidance to ensure everything is as you wish it to be. We can be contacted on (0116) 222 0247 or email

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park