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List of Natural Burial Grounds

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The Orchard, Burnham on Crouch, Essex

The Orchard natural burial site at Burnham on Crouch cemetery, has been designed to encourage a habitat rich with produce for the wealth of wildlife found here.  The trees and bushes, along with the wild flowers and grasses, provide fabulous pollen sources and later in the summer the fruits encourage many insects, reptiles and small animals. 

We are lucky enough to have both bats and owls resident in Burnham cemetery and The Orchard is a perfect feeding source to marvel at the wonders that the circle of life brings.

All Orchard plots have the option to purchase a memorial tree or shrub and these are planted once a year in late autumn at an annual ceremony.  Rarer varieties of quince and meddler trees are intermingled with wild plum, cherry and crab apple or fruit bushes such as thorn less blackberry and blackcurrant. The type of tree planted depends on the overall ecological development plan with all species being traditional. The development of the orchard will mean that thinning of trees and pruning will be an integral part of its future and at one time or another will effect every part of the area. We ask for your understanding that the cultivation of plots cannot be allowed and only indigenous species of spring bulbs can be planted if wished.

Only single depth burials are permitted for Orchard burials (unlike the double depth traditional graves) so, if desired, plots need to be reserved adjacent to the original grave to accommodate loved ones. This permits a more consistent growth as otherwise the planting of many trees and shrubs would have to be delayed until after the burial of the second person.

Ashes can be either interred or scattered. An ashes plot can be used for two sets of ashes and a burial grave can also be re-opened for the burial of up to 5 sets of ashes.

Burials can only take place using bio-degradable materials such as natural wood or wood composites without coatings of artificial veneers, cardboard, wickerwork and shrouds.

There are no memorials permitted on graves, however plaques can be purchased for the pergola or leased on available benches. Details of memorial options can be obtained by contacting the cemeteries officer.

Plots are marked by a concrete ‘numeral’ embedded in the ground which disappears in the spring and summer when the grasses overgrow them and with tree tags. These markers correspond to the Council’s plans and records.


Contact Cemeteries Officer

Site Address Burnham on Crouch Cemetery

Southminster Road

Town Burnham on Crouch

County Essex

PostCode CM0 8QE

Telephone 01621 854477

Type of Plots Available

Natural burial plots

Interment of ashes

Scattering of ashes

Memorials Trees, Plaques (in designated locations)


Disabled access

Dogs on leads welcome

Visiting opening hours Daylight hours

Funeral Arrangements

You may choose whichever funeral director you wish

Friends and family can undertake all or part of the funeral service themselves

Completely natural, biodegradable coffin materials

The future of the site, its maintenance and management
The site is managed and maintained by Maldon District council.

ANBG Member

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The New Natural Death Handbook fifth edition is out now, this book is a must read for everyone. Completely revised and expanded into a boxed set of three books... Read more

Credit to Will Whipple (photographer)



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