Green, Natural and Woodland Burial Sites
What is a Natural Burial Ground?
Green, or natural burial grounds are places where bodies can be laid to rest amongst nature. Green burials are seen as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional burial or cremation. At the best sites, the land is carefully managed, with a range of habitats to encourage a good diversity of plants and wildlife.
A woodland setting or meadow can be a beautiful place to sit and remember a loved one. Not all sites mark the exact spot of each burial, however they will all keep a register of individual locations. Also, the type of memorialisation (a tree, stone, planting, etc) varies from site to site, so it is important to check these details before you make a choice.
The materials used for the coffin or shroud must be environmentally friendly and readily biodegradable (for example, cardboard, banana leaf, wicker, bamboo, willow or cotton).
Some sites now allow the burial of cremated remains. In large quantities, the ashes can be toxic to plants, but high levels of sodium and PH can be mitigated by mixing them with a specially blended soil.
For environmental reasons, most sites do not allow embalming.
Where Can I Find a Natural Burial Ground?
There are now over 270 green burial sites throughout the United Kingdom (also known as natural or woodland sites). They are usually on privately owned land, often in woodland settings, meadows, or where the land is naturalised through the planting of memorial trees.
Each site is different, so do your research and check their Terms & Conditions to make sure they are offering what you need and to find out what they require from you. Also check whether they have a long-term plan for the site, for example after it is full.