Green funerals and natural burials growing in popularity
An increasing number of people are considering the environment during their everyday lives and, in death, there are opportunities to continue these sentiments with an eco, natural or green funeral.
At Tester & Jones, we pride ourselves on being flexible and ready to respond to individual requests which honour a loved one. We have, for instance, arranged an increasing number of natural burials.
Natural burial – sometimes referred to as a ‘green burial’ or ‘woodland burial’ - describes the burial of the deceased where the burial area creates a habitat for wildlife or preserves existing habitats, such as woodland, species rich meadows or orchards. The idea is to return a body to the earth in as natural a way as possible.
The first natural burial ground was opened in the UK in 1993 and now there are now more than 270 sites around the country. In this area, we have recently supported some families who have chosen to use the Eden Valley Woodland Burial Ground, a 22-acre ‘green burial cemetery’ in Edenbridge.
Burials take place adjacent to an ancient bluebell wood, amongst oak trees, with plans to plant memorial trees to enhance the woodland further. Burial plots can be purchased in advance or chosen at the time of need. All burials are single depth and family members can purchase adjacent plots.
After the burial, the family ae offered a chance to attend one of two open days in February and November and, at that time, have a chance to plant one of nine different species of trees, including Wild Cherry, Yew and Holly.
However, there are currently plans underway to create a new cemetery for Crowborough at Summersales Farm, adjacent to Forest Fold Baptist Chapel in London Road, and this is likely to also include an area set aside for natural burials which will not include headstones. Crowborough Town Council has purchased the land and plans are underway.
As part of the Tester & Jones’ green funeral service, you can also choose from natural, sustainable and biodegradable coffins or ashes caskets, made from materials such as wicker, banana leaf, recycled cardboard, sea grass or Somerset Willow.
Posted: 1st of May 2019