Natural Burial

There is no law against being buried in your own garden, provided that you own the land. You must obtain consent from the local authority, who must be satisfied that the projected grave is situated 10 metres away from standing water, 50 metres away from a drinking water source, and is going to be dug to an appropriate depth. The location of the grave must be recorded on the deeds of the property.

In reality, this is only a practicable option for people with very large gardens, and an intention to keep ownership of the home within the family for the foreseeable future. Selling the house, complete with burial, could cause practical and emotional problems.

As a more practical alternative, natural woodland burials are becoming increasingly popular. This is an environmentally conscious option; natural burial grounds decompose quickly, leaving an area of regenerated flora, unencumbered by marble and stone memorials.

Non-consecrated woodland sites have been set aside specifically for interment, and are managed to ensure that they adhere to legal regulations. If required, you may ask a priest to bless individual plots.

The advantages of this option is that the burial plots tend to be cheaper than ones in overcrowded cemeteries and graveyards. It is also much more likely that you will be able to buy permanent rights to the plot, ensuring that the grave will not be disturbed in the future.

These sites are not marked by headstones or memorials. The beauty of the natural setting is preserved, and only bio-degradable wooden plaques are permitted. Most graves are marked by planting a shrub or a tree. If you are seeking a permanent (i.e. stone) memorial, this might not be a suitable option.

http://www.naturaldeath.org.uk

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