Rosie Humphreys

Usk Castle landowner and custodian
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A gentle alternative

Unhurried, tranquil, and private, the burial ground offers a gentle alternative to a traditional cemetery or crematorium. There is space and time to create your own bespoke ceremony within the ethos of the natural burial ground.

Professional funeral directors 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. If you wish to do as much as you can yourselves, there is no legal requirement in the UK to use a funeral director.

We don’t offer funeral services, but both family-organised funerals and professional services are welcome.

Coffins and embalming

Coffins should be made from and lined with natural, biodegradable materials. No plastics, MDF or chipboard should be used. Please click here for a guide on biodegradable coffins, shrouds and urns.

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 in the meadow.

Plots

You can choose a plot for a natural burial, or find a place in the meadow to inter cremated remains.

Graves are unmarked, but they are laid out in a grid pattern and we record the location and measurements from survey points. We provide these and other coordinates so you can easily share the location. If you struggle, we can flag the spot for you.

Scattering ashes

We no longer allow the scattering of ashes on the ground at Usk. This is because the chemical composition of ash is not good for the plants and ashes heaped at the base of trees form clayey lumps that do not quickly weather away. However, we do encourage people to inter ashes, either in a biodegradable container such as a cardboard tube or directly into the soil.

Double plots

Burial and interment plots are single-depth, and double-plots are side-by-side.

In woodland areas, developing tree roots and canopy prevent new graves from being dug next to older ones, but we will offer the closest possible arrangement when the time comes.

Alternatively, cremated remains can be included in a coffin burial or combined in one ashes plot at the time of interment. You can find the form for combined ashes on the forms and prices page.

Have more questions?

If you have any more questions, please go to our advice section to find out more information about natural burial. Or alternatively, if you have a specific question about the Usk natural burial meadow, please contact our custodian, Rosie.

Go to Advice SectionEmail Rosie