Grave site on natural burial ground.
Natural Burial
An Overview

Natural burial, also known as Green burial or Woodland burial, started in the UK in the early 1990’s. Cemetery manager Ken West MBE, at the request of two sisters looking for a less formal burial choice, developed an natural area in the municipal cemetery in Carlisle. The appeal of this environmentally friendly alternative has grown significantly in recent years, particularly as awareness of the climate-emergency has increased.

Typically, natural burial is characterised by:

  • Not allowing bodies to be embalmed
  • 100% biodegradable coffins or shrouds
  • Subtle memorials made from locally sourced natural materials
  • Nature-friendly site maintenance that involves only essential mowing and promotes biodiversity
  • Standardised, ground-level memorial plaques to maintain a natural environment
  • Graveside tributes limited to cut-flowers with no packaging
Despite the growing popularity of natural burial, it is important to understand that it is not for everyone. Our Regulations clearly explain the rules that help us to maintain a natural, environmentally positive setting.

Why choose a natural burial?

There are many reasons why people choose natural burial. For some, climate change is the most important aspect. For others it's just about simplicity and a return to nature, an unfussy, peaceful place for friends and family to visit to remember their loved ones. Some people are attracted by the non-conformist aspect of natural burial and the freedom it offers for more time and creativity at a funeral conducted in a less-formal environment.

At Alne Wood Park our focus is to provide an site that allows for all these needs.

Natural burial at Alne Wood Park

Alne Wood Park is a living and lasting memorial, providing a peaceful place in nature for family and friends to honour and remember their loved ones. We offer compassionate support to families in making arrangements at the site, and set ourselves the highest standards for site stewardship.

The burial ground provides a biodiverse environment encouraging wildlife both within the burial ground itself and in the surrounding woodland. After a funeral the grave-site will be levelled as it settles over the following months and subsequently planted with a special blend of wildflower and grass seed that matches existing species from the site. At this point a small subtle stone or wood plaque can be purchased from us, this allows memorialisation but balances it with maintaining the natural look and feel of the site. 

As Association of Natural Burial Grounds members we are committed to their code-of-conduct and are also looking to develop best practice in-line with guidance for a green funeral. In addition, the manager of Alne Wood Park is a member of both the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management and also the Good Funeral Guild.  

Wildfower and View
Visiting Alne Wood Park
Arrange a visit with us to find out more about natural burial and exactly what we offer at Alne Wood Park.