Types of Burial

It may be helpful if we first establish exactly “what is a ‘natural’ burial ground”:  generically referred to as ‘natural’, ‘green’ or ‘woodland’ burial, the primary difference between a natural burial ground and a conventional, consecrated place of burial is that the body is not embalmed and that only a shroud or biodegradable coffin (of which there are many and varied types) is used and placed in a grave.

Natural burials are a way of caring for the dead with minimal impact on the environment, working to redevelop our countryside and by paying tribute to those who have died by planting trees, shrubs and wild flowers.

The definition of a biodegradable coffin is one that is without any plastics, chipboard, harmful paints or toxic glues.  Wooden coffins are permitted providing they come from certifiably sustained and renewable sources, and that all parts are biodegradable (including handles).  Homemade coffins that meet these criteria are acceptable.


As with coffin burials, cremated remains must be interred in biodegradable containers.  No cremated remains shall be scattered as this may cause the soil PH to change and could compromise the ecosystem. All cremated remains need a Certificate of Cremation before interment can take place.

Pet Ashes CAN be interred at Dale Hill Natural Burial Ground but only in our dedicated pet interment area. Pet ashes CANNOT be scattered at Dale Hill Natural Burial Ground

Woodland or Meadow?

In a woodland burial a tree may be planted on the grave, whereas a meadow burial takes place in an area of open meadow. Ashes interments may also take place in both the woodland and meadow areas but unfortunately it is not possible to plant a tree on a single ashes plot. Family ashes plots may be purchased and will accommodate 4 sets of ashes and a tree may be planted on these plots.

Memorial trees can also be purchased and planted separately to form a woodland area close to the meadow burials.


The location of graves and memorial trees may be marked with the placing of a stone plaque on the ground. A smaller plaque which is installed on a short wooden post is also available when a tree is planted. The memorial plaques must be sourced from our own supplier and details are available on request.

Only trees indiginous to the area will be planted. View the list of permitted trees

Natural, eco-friendly or environmentally-friendly burial is the interment of the deceased person in the soil in a way that does not stop natural decomposition but allows the body to recycle naturally. It is an growing alternative to other traditional burial methods.
Trees rather than traditional head stones are planted to mark the location of the grave.
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