Planning ahead

Guides
Planning ahead guide

Getting things organised in advance can make it easier for your family when the time comes. We recommend deciding what you would like to happen and talking to the people who will be arranging things.

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Poems and words

The following are poems, words and ideas that resonate well with our philosophy and can provide inspiration for funeral ceremonies.

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Funeral plans

Before you take out a commercial funeral plan decide if you really want one. There are other ways to convey your wishes and plan ahead.

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Trees on graves

The desire to plant a tree on an individual grave is strong, but is it a good idea to do so?

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Quick questions
We want to be together, can we buy a double plot?

Yes*, you can be buried side by side. We do not re-open graves once a burial has taken place.

*Double plots are not available at the Henley natural burial ground due to the tree planting.

What if I change my mind?

You may cancel your Selected Rights of Burial within twelve months of the date of purchase. All monies that we have received from you in payment for the Selected Rights of Burial will then be repaid to you less a cancellation fee of £175 per right of burial purchased. If you cancel within 30 days of submitting the Application Form then we will waive this fee. The Selected Rights of Burial cannot be cancelled after the death of the Nominee. After 12 months from the date of purchase, we will offer you 50% of the original purchase price.

Can I buy a plot in advance?

Yes, you can reserve a plot up to 50 years in advance in England and Wales or 25 years in advance in Scotland.

What does a natural burial cost?

Prices vary from site to site – typically ranging from £580 to £3,045 for a single burial plot; plots for ashes start from £300 for a single plot. Special arrangements can be made if you wish to reserve a particular area of a site for family burials.

You will also need to pay a registration fee and grave-digging fee. There are other optional costs such as weekend funerals, memorial plaques etc. More information about prices can be found on each location page.

Can I have a religious funeral?

Yes, you can have any type of ceremony that you would like at the burial ground. The burial ground is not blessed, instead, individual graves can be blessed by the officiant.

Arranging a funeral

Guides
What type of funeral can you have?

In this advice guide, we answer the frequently asked question – ​’What type of funeral can I have at a Natural Burial Ground?’

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Children’s Funerals

Information about funerals for babies, children and persons under 18 in England, Scotland and Wales.

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Choosing a Funeral Director

Find a Funeral Director who is willing to take different approaches depending on what their client wants and understands natural burials.

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Coffins, Shrouds and Urns

There are now many different types of eco-coffins, shrouds and urns to choose from.

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Create Your Own Funeral Service
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Practical advice for planning a funeral

Here is some practical advice to consider when planning a funeral. From making it personal, to costs.

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Quick questions
How much help can we get in organising the whole process?

We are happy to give you all the assistance you require and can put you in touch with local suppliers and service providers. Please contact Tracy at the Leedam office (01600 716438) or email her on info@leedam.com

What does a natural burial cost?

Prices vary from site to site – typically ranging from £580 to £3,045 for a single burial plot; plots for ashes start from £300 for a single plot. Special arrangements can be made if you wish to reserve a particular area of a site for family burials.

You will also need to pay a registration fee and grave-digging fee. There are other optional costs such as weekend funerals, memorial plaques etc. More information about prices can be found on each location page.

Can I have a religious funeral?

Yes, you can have any type of ceremony that you would like at the burial ground. The burial ground is not blessed, instead, individual graves can be blessed by the officiant.

Do we need to use a funeral director?

There is no legal requirement in the UK to use a funeral director. The professionals are there to support you and help you achieve what you want to do. A good funeral director will provide the help and support you need when you need it.

Is embalming allowed?

We can’t accept embalmed bodies for burial unless there are exceptional circumstances. Cremated remains contain no residue from embalming chemicals and can therefore be interred or scattered in the meadow.

On the day

Guides
How to lift, carry and lower a coffin
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Family led (DIY) funerals
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Flowers

Here is a guide about flowers you can leave at the natural burial ground. In short, flowers, yes. ​Oasis, wire and plastics, no.

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Poems and words

The following are poems, words and ideas that resonate well with our philosophy and can provide inspiration for funeral ceremonies.

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Quick questions
Does anyone come along to assist on the date we choose?

Usually, the custodian will be there to meet the funeral party; the grave will be prepared in readiness for you and will be back-filled after the ceremony. We can also recommend a funeral director and/or a “celebrant” who are fully acquainted with the burial ground, who can help with practical matters and provide you with a framework for the service if you wish.

Do we dig the plot ourselves?

No, that is done by our grave-digger. But if you would like to be involved in the backfilling of the grave, please let the custodian know ahead of the funeral and we will try to help arrange that for you.

Beyond the funeral

Guides
Finding the spot

There are usually no markers on the ground to indicate the position of the grave. Here we have provided some methods that will help you to locate the grave.

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Bereavement

This piece was re-posted on the Good Funeral Guild’s Facebook page and we thought it would be good to share it here.

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Flowers

Here is a guide about flowers you can leave at the natural burial ground. In short, flowers, yes. ​Oasis, wire and plastics, no.

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Future security

“What is to prevent the sites from being built-on in the future?” – This is one of the most frequent questions we are asked, so we have outlined what secures our burial grounds in the future.

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Memorial websites

A memorial website can help you to express, keep and display valuable personal memories and thoughts about the person who has died.

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Trees on graves

The desire to plant a tree on an individual grave is strong, but is it a good idea to do so?

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Quick questions
What’s to stop people from building on the land?

Our natural burial grounds have no potential for property development, but they do have long-term value as pasture. They are held on a 99-year lease that restricts the use of the land to natural burials and grazing. For more information, read this guide.

How long does it take for a body to decompose?

That all depends… on the soil characteristics, the soil saturation and the soil temperature; the physical state of the body, the coffin type, coffin linings and clothing; the depth of burial and the ecological systems.

Can we plant a tree on the grave?

No, not on the grave, but there might be an opportunity to plant a tree nearby or elsewhere at the burial ground. Each burial ground is different in this respect. For more information, view the individual burial ground location pages.

Can we plant anything or leave flowers by the plot?

You can leave a small raffia-tied bunch or posy of flowers by the plot (these will be removed when they have wilted). Planting is managed by our site operators.

Sometimes people plant cultivated, non-native varieties that do not fit in the context of the meadow. These will be removed by our custodians.

Will the family have access to the site/plot for the rest of our lives?

Yes, and in Scotland, Scottish Law provides a right of access to all.

Get in touch

Over the years, we have gathered valuable experience to pass on, wonderful ideas to share and examples to follow. We are here to support you. When you’re ready, get in touch and we’ll guide you through the next steps.

How can we help?