Get Native Woodland’s latest news and details of events, new advice and special offers.
We are often asked about the long-term future security of our burial grounds. The information below responds to the most frequently asked questions: -
Does Native Woodland Ltd own the land?
Yes, Native Woodland Ltd secures a 99 year ground lease of the land to secure a legal interest in the land. Even if the freeholder changes, NW's leasehold interest in the land continues.
What happens at the end of the lease?
At the end of the lease, should capacity remain, the operating agreement with the freeholder may continue until capacity is reached. If the ground reaches capacity beforehand, the land will continue to be a burial ground that is grazed or managed as woodland.
Can family and friends visit after the funeral?
We have long ground leases of the burial grounds which provide family and friends with free access to visit during normal opening hours. When the lease ends, access arrangements will be reviewed with each landowner. Of course, public footpaths across the grounds will remain open throughout and beyond the lease.
Do we own the land when we buy a plot?
When you reserve a plot at one of our burial grounds, you purchase the right to be buried within your chosen area of the natural burial ground. You don't actually "buy" a plot, you buy the right to be buried there.
Will the graves be reused?
No. Once buried, the remains will rest undisturbed. There are no proposals for reusing graves.
What if someone wants to build houses on the land?
The burial grounds have planning consent for use as natural burial grounds. They are within open countryside, which is not zoned for development. Any developer wishing to carry out development on the land would have to obtain planning consent. It is unthinkable that planning consent would be granted for any development. What is more, the law requires Home Office approval to be obtained for any proposed disturbance and exhumation of each and every grave. The bureaucracy and costs involved would be enormous - no development would make economic sense.
Can you guarantee the future?
It is impossible for any burial ground operator, including a local authority, to guarantee the future - there is no such thing as a guarantee in perpetuity. The most important factor is that the land remains agriculturally productive and has a sustainable future - unlike conventional cemeteries, our natural burial grounds are ongoing assets, not long-term liabilities which makes them as future proof as possible.
We would be delighted to answer any further questions that you might have - please feel free to contact us.