National award winning Natural Endings has a vast knowledge of the woodland burial sites available for use in the North West. We are pleased to offer advice regarding the benefits of each. We are regularly consulted for advice by new sites that are opening.
Woodland burial can also be known as natural burial or green burial. It is becoming an increasingly popular choice in the UK. There are now 158 open and 45 in the planning stages (info 2006). There are quite a few different options in the North West, each with a different character. We can advise you on the woodland burial sites available.
Families that choose this kind of grave for their loved one find it soothing to be somewhere natural. It helps them to understand that their loss is a natural part of life and the planet’s life cycle.
Some of these woodland cemeteries are a piece of land that will mature into a piece of woodland in the future. Some are already set in amongst mature trees and are especially landscaped for their particular use. Graves aren’t marked with vertical marble headstones as they are in traditional cemeteries. Graves are either left unmarked (though logged on plans) or they have a small wooden marker or a horizontal flat engraved natural stone marker. One of the advantages of these kind of graves is that they don’t have to be maintained in the way that old style graves do. Many woodland and natural burial grounds discourage items being left on graves and they want only native trees and plants to be planted.
Most can’t allow a tree on each grave, as not all the trees would survive in close proximity to each other. The cemeteries that don’t allow a tree on the actual grave will have other areas where trees and shrubs can be dedicated to a loved one.
Many of these natural/woodland burial grounds require that an eco-coffin be used. An eco-coffin is biodegradable and has no metal parts or plastic that can’t break down. Examples are coffins made from cardboard, willow, bamboo, seagrass, pandanus and jute. Some also accept lambswool shrouds. For a more traditional aesthetic we have wooden coffins from sustainable wood sources. It would also be considered more eco-friendly if the person hasn’t been embalmed. (Though embalmed bodies will be accepted into these natural burial grounds.)
Thank you for suggesting the Remembrance Park. Going to visit Mum’s grave becomes a whole day out for the family now. Because of the lovely location we usually take a long walk through the woods after visiting her. The walks are very soothing to the spirit. Then we’ll have a nice meal at the pub or a cup of tea in the cemetery office. Mum would have loved it; it is a great comfort to us that she is in the perfect place.” Jessica (Bolton)
This is an image of the new Woodland Burial Area in Blackley. A special electric hearse takes the coffin up to the top of the hill where the graves are situated amongst mature trees. There are nice views of Heaton Park. Graves are left very natural and plain, but there are options to have memorial birdboxes or an inscribed natural stone plaque. The service can be either graveside or in one of the Blackley Cemetery chapels.
As your funeral director we can arrange woodland burial or natural burial in Chorlton (Manchester), Worsley (Manchester), Blackley (Manchester), Bredbury (Stockport), Mobberley (near Knutsford, Cheshire), Adlington (between Poynton and Macclesfield, Cheshire), Saddleworth (near Oldham), Entwistle (between Blackburn and Bolton, Lancashire), Much Hoole (Lancashire), Clitheroe (Lancashire) and Rainford (near St.Helen’s, Merseyside). Alternatively we can arrange a burial on your own land.
(All of the pictures shown are of natural burial sites that we use in the North West).