Remembering and Paying Tribute – Our Covid Memorial Woods

The Covid crisis has impacted upon us all.  Many have lost their lives to this virus, a situation made even worse as we have not always been able to say goodbye.  It continues to be an awful time of fear and caution for us all.

Throughout this crisis there have been so many heroes, frontline workers working in healthcare, our supermarkets, the emergency services and so many other important roles.  We owe so much to so many.

The Natural Burial Company have worked hard to support the bereaved throughout the crisis but also realise that this unique situation has changed all of our lives.  For many the world will never be the same again.

So we believe it appropriate to provide our tribute, in remembrance of those who have passed as a result of covid.  But also to say thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to help people through this awful time.  There are so many unsung heroes who have given their time, their service and in some tragic cases their lives.

Therefore we will be planting and dedicating new woodlands at each of our burial grounds to honour everyone whose lives have been impacted by the virus, and to pay tribute and respect.  These woods will be places of remembrance, but also of hope, love and thanks.

The woodlands will be planted and dedicated in special ceremonies next year.  These ceremonies will be public events and we will be advertising details in advance.  Everyone will be welcome.

However, we do require your thoughts as to appropriate names for these special woods.  Therefore, we are asking for suggestions for each of these remembrance areas.  Please let us know your thoughts, and also make it clear for which burial ground you wish to name the wood – Prestwold (near Loughborough), Scraptoft (Leicester) or Wrottesley Park (Wolverhampton).

Thank you

Prestwold in Spring

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

Greener World, Greener Funerals

So many people have noticed the environmental changes since the lockdown restrictions have been in place.  The air is cleaner, nature is thriving.  We seem to have a greener world.

As we move out of special measures and the world becomes a safer place again, we all have an opportunity to help also make it a better place.  People are talking about making less car and plane journeys, planting trees and making gardens more nature friendly. Thinking how we can all help the planet and the wildlife we share it with.

Our care for the environment in life can continue in death.  Natural Burial offers everyone the opportunity to continue care by reducing the carbon footprint of their funeral service and leaving a beautiful natural legacy.  A greener funeral for a greener world.

We understand that for religious or cultural reasons people will continue to choose cremation.  However, the cremated remains can still be buried at a natural burial ground.  And a memorial tree will not only be a beautiful natural legacy.  You will also know that you are making a positive difference to the environment.  Of course, family, friends and future generations will also have somewhere beautiful to visit and remember.

It is a fact that Natural Burial is far more environmentally friendly than cremation or traditional burial.  Opting for a Natural Burial makes a difference in itself.  But what more can be done to ensure a greener funeral?

An environmentally friendly coffin, casket or shroud is very important. Many traditional coffins have plastic handles and are made using chemicals that are not environmentally friendly.  There are now many alternatives to these coffins.  An online search will help you find cardboard, bamboo, willow and other coffins, as well as natural shrouds.  Your funeral director should be able to offer a range of options for you.  And even if you would like a traditional coffin, you can still have wooden or rope handles.

On occasions embalming (or as it is sometimes called Hygienic Treatment) is essential to care for someone after death.  However, this is not always the case and you may wish to discuss this with your funeral director.  Many embalming chemicals are bad for the environment.

Electric hearses are now available and becoming more common.  Again, don’t be afraid to ask your funeral director if they have, or have access to, such a vehicle.  Electric private ambulances are now also available for collecting the deceased from home or hospital.

Many funeral directors also have an environmental policy and look to help ensure a greener funeral in many other ways.  If you are unsure of a particular company look at their website or make a telephone call.  The vast majority of funeral directors are dedicated, caring professionals who would gladly help.

As we look to make a positive difference in life we can also do so in death.  At the Natural Burial Company we are passionate about helping to care for the enviroment, encourage nature, and making a real difference when celebrating the lives of loved ones.  Our team are available to help you at all times.  You are welcome to contact us by telephone or email to further discuss how we can all work together for the benefit of everyone.

Scraptoft Natural Burial Site

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

Working to Eliminate Funeral Poverty

The Bad News

Two recent reports have shown that funeral costs have once again risen. The Sun Life Cost of Dying Report lists the average funeral cost in 2019 as £4,417. The Royal London Annual Funeral Cost Index for 2019 lists the figure as £3,785. On average, burial costs are higher still as cemetery space in many urban areas reduces, leading to increased prices.

The Good News, Natural Burial

However, this is not the full story as natural burial offers fully personalised services which help the environment, at costs well below what would be expected in traditional cemeteries. The natural burial ground also provides a beautiful, tranquil place to visit, encourages nature and ensures a natural legacy for future generations.

Personalising the Service

By arranging a totally personalised “family led service” you have the satisfaction of ensuring all arrangements are exactly as you wish. Whilst not having to pay for items and services that you don’t need. Your funeral director can help advise and guide you to achieve this. As would The Natural Death Centre (www.naturaldeath.org.uk). Our team are also extremely experienced in providing help and advice.

Direct Burial

Whilst it is well known that “Direct Cremation” is becoming increasingly popular the principle of Direct Burial is not so well known. We offer this service at The Natural Burial Company. Allowing a non-attended service for a significant reduction in cost. By ensuring that you are aware of the burial ground in which the service took place (but not the specific grave) you have a beautiful place to visit and remember. After all, the natural beauty of the burial ground is itself a tribute to those in its care. You can also arrange a slate plaque and/or tree in a memorial area if you wish.

Find out More

We passionately believe that funeral poverty is wrong and will do our best to work hard to provide the best possible service for reasonable cost. So many others agree also with our stance. You can find more details regarding these and further information on challenging funeral poverty at www.fairfuneralscampaign.org.uk

Here For You

Everyone has a right to say goodbye to a loved one in the manner appropriate to the life lived. We at The Natural Burial Company are dedicated to working with you, all agencies and funeral directors to play our part to make this happen.

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