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Natural Burials
Useful Information
Useful Information

"Natural burial is a term used to describe the burial of human remains where the burial area creates habitat for wildlife or preserves existing habitat (woodland, species rich meadows, orchards, aquatic, sustainably managed farmland etc.) which are rich in flora and fauna. Where a funeral precedes such burial, it would seek to minimise environmental impact by prohibiting embalming and, where a coffin is used, ensuring that this be made of natural, biodegradable materials".

A Guide to Natural Burial, Ken West MBE 2010

What is a Natural Burial? 


A 'Natural Burial' is a gentle and environmentally friendly path for those who are having to make funeral arrangements. For those of us who are concerned that our final resting place should have as little impact on the environment as possible, will find a natural burial to be a positive and reassuring choice.

Essentially, a natural burial is the laying to rest of an un-embalmed body in a biodegradable coffin or shroud in a grave located in a natural environment.  The grave can be marked simply with an unobtrusive flat oak marker bearing the person`s name; it simply becomes part of the field. It becomes a living, breathing legacy; a protected natural site to be enjoyed not only by family and visitors, but by local wildlife.

Native trees are planted in Busnant Wood and designated areas within the Hay Meadow, following a tree planting plan. All trees must be obtained from us in order to protect the diverse flora and fauna of the area. 

Planning Ahead

Planning Ahead

 As we get older, many of us wish to get our affairs in order. Writing a will and a set of advance decision documents (previously known as ‘living wills’) is a good place to start. However, some people prefer to plan their funeral and pay for it in advance. 


When you lose someone close to you, it can be difficult to make decisions. By planning ahead and choosing your final resting place in advance, you can make sure you get the send off you want, and relieve your family and friends from making any difficult decisions on your behalf. You can also give them peace of mind that this has been taken care of. 


Our fees compare very favourably with other provisions. Many people find it comforting to know where they will be laid to rest and planning ahead can significantly reduce the cost of your funeral. By purchasing in advance, you can secure your plot at today’s price, and get a large proportion of the eventual costs out of the way. Furthermore, it offers a clear message to your loved ones that you have chosen where you want to be laid to rest. 


Natural burials are becoming more and more popular; people are attracted to the idea of a final resting place which is neither a conventional cemetery or graveyard, but somewhere which has a special character of its own, like Hay Meadow Burial Ground. 

When Somebody Dies

When Somebody Dies

In the case of a sudden, unexplained, or suspicious death, call 999. If the individual dies at his/her home without any known medical care, and they have not seen a doctor within the last 14 days, then you will need to call 999.

The Coroner will also be informed if the death was sudden, an accident or the person who has died has not been seen by a doctor within the last 14 days. A Coroner will then decide whether it is necessary to hold a Post-Mortem or an Inquest and will issue an Order for Burial (White Certificate).

You do not need to deal with the assets of the deceased straight away, but make sure to think of those that may have been dependant on the deceased, for example, any pets.

The first step is to obtain a Medical Certificate from a Doctor which will confirm the cause of death. You will need the Medical Certificate to register the death, in addition to at least one form of ID. The death must be registered at the Registrar Office within 5 days. The Registrar will supply copies of the Death Certificate and provide a Certificate for Burial (Green Certificate).

You can register the death at any Register Office, but if you use the one in the area where the person has died, you will be given the documents you will need on the day.

If you use a different Register Office, the documents will be sent to the Office in the area where the person died before they are issued to you. This means you will usually have to wait a few days for the documents. 

Once a funeral booking is confirmed, the Registrar’s Green Certificate or the Coroner’s Order for Burial (White Certificate) must be given to the Funeral Director, who then forwards this to the Burial Ground Manager.

Once the funeral has taken place, the Burial Ground Manager will notify the Registrar that the burial has taken place and keep records of all burials.

Arranging a funeral can be daunting at a time when you’re feeling vulnerable. It may be that you’ve overlooked possible sources of funding to help towards the costs, and that may include money from the estate of the person who has died. Carefully look through the deceased’s paperwork to try and identify all the different accounts they may have had and to see if anything suggests they had any insurance policies or private pensions in place. 

The first priority for any money left by the deceased person is to help pay towards the cost of their funeral. This comes before any rent or utilities etc. If, after this, there is insufficient money or assets in the estate to pay off any debts, then they would be paid in order of priority until the money or assets run out. Any remaining debts are likely to be written off. Find more advice, click here. 

In order to release money from a bank account, you can take a copy of the death certificate and a copy of the funeral invoice to the bank. Many banks will release the money directly to the funeral director (if you are using one). You do not always need to wait for the Will (if there is one) to be read or for probate to be granted.

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