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About Green Burial
Click to see our slideshow 'How to Go Green'
What is natural burial?
Using only natural, biodegradable materials and no harmful chemicals, natural burials take place in sustainably managed countryside, to preserve and enhance the landscape.
Our natural burial grounds
Our natural burial grounds are rural places where the use of the land for burials is complementary to the traditional use of the land as pasture, meadow or woodland. They are real countryside.
What is the special appeal of natural burial?
As well as being a more peaceful place for the bereaved to visit and grieve there are lots of different reasons why people choose a natural burial: A gentler alternative, somewhere more bearable in such difficult circumstances. It can be a final gift to the person who has died; somewhere the person would have been happy in life. It fulfils the desire to 'do something different'. And, by their nature, natural burial grounds are beautiful landscapes and not rows of headstones and tarmac.
Natural burial also avoids some of the problems with conventional cemeteries:
You won't be taking up space and creating a future maintenance problem. No grave tending is needed, relieving the burden from your family. Gravestones have lost their appeal and connection with local materials - these days they tend to be expensive shiny black slabs from overseas with sandblasted inscriptions and thick concrete bases anchored into the ground. Cemetery maintenance gets cut back when public finances are tight and they can become neglected. You save the high cost of the gravestone, which can run to thousands of pounds. Natural burial grounds do not have the plastic ornaments, silk flowers and artificial clutter that is prolific in many cemeteries.
Natural burial is also environmentally much better than cremation, which accounts for almost three quarters of funerals today:
- The impact of a single cremation might appear small, but more than 400,000 people a year are cremated in the UK
- Cremation uses up valuable fossil fuels
- Emits great quantities of CO2 and pollution
- Leaves you with the problem of what to do with the ashes
- The crematorium experience can feel very rushed and impersonal
What advice do we have for people who might be interested?
Visit - First and foremost, visit the burial ground. It is usually alright for you to visit without making prior arrangements. You will discover somewhere very different from a traditional cemetery, somewhere quiet and peaceful - proper countryside full of wildlife – lots of space and fine views. Just right. If you would prefer to be accompanied, give us a ring and we'll come with you.
Talk about it - Secondly, while you’re in fair health it’s far easier to talk about these things, so let your family know that this is something you’d like. When it comes to funerals most people would rather not talk about it, preferring to ‘let them sort it out’, but if you communicate your wishes in advance, the worry of organising a befitting funeral can be prevented.
Write it down - Make a funeral ‘wish list’ saying whether you would prefer a simple or more elaborate service, the type of coffin you would like and favorite music, readings or poems. You can also give them permission not to spend a fortune on the funeral. This will really help to create a meaningful occasion and relieve the anxiety of surviving family members who may otherwise wonder if they did the right thing. It will also eliminate disagreements that may occur between relatives who are fixed on their own ideas of "how it should be".
Get organised - while you are about it, reserve a plot in the area you prefer. If you buy now, the price will be fixed at today's level and it will be yours. You will have the contentment of knowing that 'this is where I'm going to be'.