The Good Funeral Awards 2022

We are very proud to announce that we have been shortlisted as a finalist at The Good Funeral Awards, hosted by the Association of Green Funeral Directors.

This year’s nomination follows on from our Wrottesley Park Natural Burial Ground being awarded Burial Ground of the Year at the 2021 event. A key member of our team, Awen Clement, was also awarded the Minister of the Year (any religion) award at the same event. In 2019 we were awarded winner of Best Bereavement Awareness Event for our Prestwold Hall Bereavement Awareness Day. Our Prestwold Natural Burial Ground was also a finalist in the Burial Ground of the Year at the same awards.

This year we have been further honoured as our Wrottesley Park Natural Burial Ground has again been nominated as a finalist for Burial Ground of the Year. Furthermore, our Gravedigger at Wrottesley Park, Paul Hallam, has been selected as a finalist for Gravedigger of the Year.

We are passionate about caring for the bereaved and the environment. Duties that we are proud to conduct. And whilst we work to help make a difference, and not for awards, we are all honoured and humbled to continue to receive such prestigious nominations.

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

Natural Burial during Covid – Update 14th May 2021

As you may be aware, restrictions on attending funeral and memorial services are being eased from Monday 17th May 2021.  However, some restrictions do remain and we wish to confirm how this will impact upon burial and memorial services at our natural burial grounds.

We have carefully considered how we can maximize the number of people who can arrange a burial service, whilst ensuring that social distancing can be safely adopted at the burial grounds and in our car parks.  Therefore,  we are pleased to announce that from Monday 17th May a total of fifty (50) people may attend full burial services at our natural burial grounds.  This is subject to social distancing being observed and all present abiding by the guidelines in place at the time of the service.

In order to help us prepare for services we request that we are provided with numbers attending in advance of any service if the number attending will exceed 25 people.  This will allow our team to take the appropriate precautions.  Confirmation of regulations and any additional requirements will also be provided to the funeral director or person arranging the burial at the earliest opportunity prior to the service.

With regards to services for cremated remains and memorial events such as tree planting, a maximum of thirty people are able to attend.  Again, we will contact the arranger prior to these services to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the regulations and to ensure the highest levels of safety for those present.

We will endeavor to remove all restrictions on numbers at the earliest legal and practical opportunity.  In the meantime we will work to see if we are able to increase the numbers who may attend services if this can be done safely.  Please accept our assurance that we are dedicated to helping and supporting everyone attending services and visiting our natural burial grounds, whilst doing everything we can to keep everyone safe.

We can, and will, continue to do everything we can to help support the bereaved, encourage nature and ensure biodiversity.  We are here for you at or on (0116) 222 0247.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

The Great Big Green Week – Working Together, Making a Difference

Caring for the environment is key to everything we do.  Therefore, we are very proud to have joined The Great Big Green Week which will be taking place countrywide in September.

At each of our burial grounds, Prestwold (near Loughborough), Scraptoft (Leicester) and Wrottesley Park (Wolverhampton), we will be holding an event to raise awareness of environmentally friendly funeral services, whilst also supporting local green community groups.

And we are inviting companies, groups and individuals to join us at these events so we can all make a difference.

Funeral Directors, Florists, Celebrants and Suppliers – Do you provide environmentally friendly services?  If so, why not join us?  We want to help people to be aware of the choices they  have for ensuring a green send off for themselves or their loved ones.

Community Groups – Are you an organiser for, or a member of, a community group with an environmental focus?  We would love to have you at your local event.

Local Walking Groups – We wish to arrange a walk at each of our events.  Would your group like to lead this walk?

Wildlife Groups – It would be great to have you attend to promote your work.

Have we missed you out? – If you are interested in supporting The Great Big Green Week and have something to offer but don’t fit into the above, no problem.  We would love to talk to you about what you can offer.

For further information or to express an interest please contact Christopher by email at   It would be great to have a broad section of bereavement service and community groups present.  And of course, everyone is invited to attend.

Further details regarding events nationwide can be found www.greatbiggreenweek.com

Together we can make a difference.  Thank you.

 

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Natural Burial Inspiration – Awen Clement

Very personal, beautiful, words from our friend and colleague Awen Clement.  Inspired by Wrottesley Park Natural Burial Ground.

 

When my human days are done

Let gentle hands wrap my body in love and cloth

Let loving arms carry me to the forest at dusk and as the birds sing their end of day lament to the sun

Lay me down in the sweet earth, tuck me in with the earthworms while stars fall and the old oaks look on

 

Awen Clement

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

Dispelling the Myths

We have received contact from a number of people worried regarding the availability of burial services during lockdown.  Therefore, we thought it best to put minds at rest and clarify that we continue to provide a full service to all:

Natural Burials are continuing.  There is no stipulation that those with covid must be cremated. We are available for you, whenever you need us.

The attendance limit at full burial services is currently 30 people.

We can arrange Direct Natural Burials for those who require a simple, low-cost service.  Direct Natural Burial has great advantages over direct cremation as you are supporting the environment and have a beautiful, natural place to visit and remember in the future.

We remain available to conduct burials at weekends and outside of traditional hours.

There is no time-limit on the length of the burial service.  What matters are your wishes to provide an appropriate goodbye for your loved one.

You can also arrange burials of cremated remains.  The attendance limit is currently 6 people.

All of our burial grounds remain open to visitors.

You can pre-purchase burial plots.  The plot is purchased at today’s price.  Many people are finding this a comfort during these most difficult of times.

We are available by Zoom and WhatsApp as well as phone and email.

Remember, you are welcome to contact us at any time.  We are here to advise, help and support everyone.

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

A Woodland Legacy

It is now acknowledged that continued damage to the environment is a major threat to our planet.  As such, it’s encouraging to see so many people adapting their lifestyle and making changes, large and small, to help protect our future.

Trees can play a large part in ensuring positive change. Described as the ultimate carbon capture and storage machines, it is estimated that a young wood with mixed native species can lock up over 400 tonnes of carbon per hectare in trees, roots and soil.  They also encourage and support many other diverse forms of life, all of which contribute to our wonderful world.

Natural Burial allows the perfect environmentally friendly legacy as a native tree can be planted on graves, ensuring new life in nature, and environmental benefits.

Trees can also be planted at our burial grounds for interments of cremated remains and even as a memorial for someone who is buried, or was cremated, elsewhere.  What is important is that for generations a magnificent tree will be a beautiful, living memorial.

The planting can be conducted by members of the family, allowing a very personal way to say a goodbye to a loved one whilst encouraging new life.

Our burial grounds will in time be left to nature as mature woodlands and meadows for future generations to visit, remember and benefit from a healthier environment and all that the great outdoors has to offer.

As a visitor recently said to me “When I die I want to be a tree.  What a perfect legacy to leave for future generations”

 

Natural Burial Locations

Prestwold
Scraptoft
Wrottesley Park

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