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List of Natural Burial Grounds

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Woodland Glades, Maldon, Essex

The philosophy of the natural burial area, Woodland Glades in Maldon Cemetery, is entirely aimed at the development of a natural environment, creating a peaceful, tranquil resting place with an awareness of the ecological benefits that come from the establishment of woodlands and natural grasses.

In the spring, some of the hundreds of early bulbs start to show, followed by the growth of the wild grasses and flowers in the summer. To encourage seeding, the cutting of grass is only done once in the autumn. Nettles and brambles are managed accordingly throughout the year.

All Woodland 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. The type of tree planted depends on the overall ecological development plan with all species being native. The development of the woodland 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 Woodland 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 on the scattering hill. An ashes plot can be used for two sets of ashes. 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.

A service within the Maldon Cemetery Chapel, followed by pall-bearing through the established section of the old cemetery, provides a beautiful transition into the Woodland Glades. For many people the use of the Victorian bier for this purpose adds to the simplicity of the service, whilst for others, a graveside service is all that may be required in ‘Returning to Nature’.

There are no memorials permitted on graves, however plaques can be purchased for the memorial wall 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 Maldon Cemetery

London Road

Town Maldon

County Essex

PostCode CM9 6LJ

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

On site facilities Chapel and WC

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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