Woodland or Natural Burials

Providing a beautiful, respectful and eco-friendly burial option for you or your loved one.

Two good reasons people choose Woodland or Natural burials

There are several reasons why Woodland or Natural burial sites have become a popular choice in recent years, but we believe there are two main ones:

1.  They are seen to be green, or sustainable, environmentally friendly. People are concerned about the growing size of cemeteries across the country, but each plot added to a Natural burial ground increases an area of green unspoilt countryside in an eco-friendly way. The final contribution to this society can enhance it.

2.  They are beautiful, informal places for the bereaved to visit. They contrast with the rigidity and formal setting of traditional burial grounds and give a space for reflection and remembrance away from it all.

Are Natural burial sites legal in the UK?

Yes, but they must follow the normal laws regulating cemeteries and go through the normal planning permission process. For example, the minimum coffin depth must be obeyed, as set out in the government guidance. You cannot just pick a shady spot and bury someone! Haynan help you choose a suitable, legal woodland or natural burial ground, and help you understand what the day will involve.  And just as important is to understand the legal rights that go with the site – this will vary from site to site, from Council-owned to privately-owned.

When were woodland burials first allowed in the UK?

The idea is relatively new in the UK, with the first one suggested in 1989, and actually was approved and opened in 1993 – part of the Carlisle City Cemetery in Cumbria.  Since then the idea has spread rapidly, and now over 270 sites across the UK have been approved, and more are currently in the planning stage.  The Natural death Centre website keeps a list of most of them, scroll right down the page to check your area. Some of these are so popular that all the plots have been already sold, in only a short time from approval. You can learn more about how Haynan can help you plan ahead with our pre-paid funeral plans.

How much does a Natural Burial cost?

Like any piece of real estate in the UK, the price varies enormously – location, location, location. But at Haynan we believe in transparency in pricing, it is simply unfair to expect people to make important decisions without having the costs readily to hand.  As an example today, a simple burial funeral at a Kent Natural Burial site would start at £3415 including simple funeral, plot cost, maintenance and internment. We are happy to check prices in your chosen area, or make suggestions.

What coffins are allowed in Woodland Funerals sites?

As the general concept behind Woodland or Natural is green and environmentally friendly, many sites will ask that only certain types of coffin are used. For example, there are a number of types made of bamboo, wicker or even cardboard. We will help you with this choice, including the cost implications. Generally, embalming is not allowed.

How is the grave marked in Natural Burial grounds?

Some sites allow a simple marker, but others keep strictly to the idea that the final area is completely natural and has no markers. Some offer to plant a tree as a memorial. However, to keep to legal guidelines, the cemetery operator must have their own system to accurately locate the plot, and keep records, so you don’t need to worry that it will disappear without a trace.

A sunflower lies at the tree trunk in a forest Cemetery, Germany.jpg

Can anyone visit a Woodland Burial ground?

Sites generally are intended for public visitors, but the facilities, such as parking and toilets etc will vary considerably. Some have public footpaths across them. In general, they provide an unrestricted place to visit, but the landowner will want anyone who visits to feel safe and may place some restrictions for the good of all. You should certainly be welcome to visit a site before buying a plot there – is it what you had in mind?

How do you get buried naturally?​​

In many ways the process is the same as at any cemetery. A time and date will be agreed, and the woodland site operator will prepare the grave. As the sites are not laid out formally like a cemetery, it is reassuring to know that you will be accompanied by people that know the way to the plot. The service at the graveside, if requested – follows the normal pattern. Depending on the particular site chosen, flowers and a simple marker may be allowed to mark the plot after it is filled again.

For more information on cremation services, contact us any time for support and advice.


Alternatively, please contact us and we will get back to you. 

Types of Funerals

There are different types of funerals to choose from, there is no right or wrong way to do them, just the way that feels best. They might be religious or non-religious, large, or small and intimate.

Help & Advice

There are a number of practical things that you need to do, along with the funeral arrangements themselves.  We will make it as clear and easy for you as we can.

Arrange a Funeral

We have made arranging a funeral with us simple and transparent, with no hidden charges. To book or enquire now, choose which service you may require.