Woodland burial offers a natural form of burial and provides important environmental benefits as well as giving a true sense of creating life from death.
Woodland Burial is a burial site on which mixed broad leafed woodland is planted and where graves remain forever in the natural setting of a woodland. Eventually, as the woodland begins to mature it becomes a haven for wildlife and wild flowers.
The site is recorded on a plan and each grave numbered by a permanent marker on the grave space. This will enable the grave to be located, if necessary, when the woodland matures. Unfortunately each grave will only accept a single burial. This is because to return after a period of time to open a grave for a double burial would damage the maturing woodland.
A period of approximately six months is allowed to pass after an interment to allow the graves to settle. Trees are then planted at appropriate distances for the woodland to flourish and not on each of the individual graves. As burial continues across the site additional tree planting will be implemented.
Tree planting will only be carried out during the planting season, November to March, and when weather conditions allow.
No part of the woodland burial area will be reserved for a specific religious group. You are free to choose your own form of burial service. It is your decision as to whether you have a religious service, a service personal to the deceased or bereaved's own wishes or have no service at all. Wreaths and other floral tributes may be placed on the grave after the interment, these will be removed when the flowers have died. The deceased will be accepted for burial in a standard chipboard or wood coffin and lightweight caskets of biodegradable corrugated cardboard are also acceptable if they meet the required specification.
Purchasing a woodland grave
Woodland graves may be reserved for future use by applying to the cemetery officer submitting the appropriate fee as indicated in the fees and charges. The fee includes the tree planting and the continuing maintenance of the site.
A specific grave site cannot be chosen on reservation. The site will be dependent on the extent to which the woodland has developed when the interment takes place, so as to avoid disturbing the maturing site.
A deed of ownership of burial rights will be prepared and issued covering a period of 100 years. Growing trees will prevent the grave being reused and burial will remain undisturbed, as part of the natural woodland.
Part of the woodland burial area is designated as a woodland ashes glade. This means that ashes can be interred in this area in either biodegradable boxes or poured directly into the ground. The cost of this service will be the normal ashes fee.
The interments within the woodland ashes glade will not be recorded on a plan as this will be a reusable and sustainable area. However, an entry will be made in the Register of Burials on the day of interment which will record the personal details of the deceased.
Memorials and visiting the woodland
There are no headstones or memorials, the trees and the woodland will be the lasting memorial to all buried there. An entry will be made in the Register of burials on the day of interment which will record the grave number and the personal details of the deceased.
Access to the woodland will be maintained for the public. Designated paths will be developed and benches provided to allow the bereaved to sit and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the woodland.