Leaflets and forms
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Photos showing the arrival of 300 boxes of the Fifth Edition of The Natural Death Handbook at the charity's headquarters in May 2012. Additional images were taken at 'Death Fest' at the Southbank Centre 27-29th January 2012, where we spoke to hundreds of people and with their help created a bejewelled pink coffin.
Choosing a natural burial ground
Making any decision after a bereavement is far harder than if thoughts and plans are made beforehand, when shock, grief and the pressure of time are not such an issue.
We feel that, wherever possible, talking to your family and together exploring the options available to you is essential before a death takes place.By telling those close to you about your preferences, your family and friends will find it easier to ensure you have the final resting place you would want.
To find your nearest natural burial ground please click here
There are two basic types of natural burial ground
The truly natural, nature reserve grounds where non-embalming is a requirement and coffins have to be biodegradable.
There are also those where a tree is planted but no other environmentally friendly rules apply.
Sites may be mown wild flower meadows, field sites where new woodland is being established, existing woodland or more manicured parkland settings. As the natural burial ground movement is growing. so too is the range of management styles, permitted memorialisation and planting policies.
Many local authorities are now setting aside parts of municipal cemeteries as 'green' or 'woodland' burial areas, providing vluable local choice. It is important to be aware that most of these sites are approached through the conventional cemetery area, which aesthetically may not be what some families want.
Consider your priorities
Before choosing a natural burial ground it is essential to decide what the desired priorities are for you and /or the deceased. For example, you may specifically wish for a tree to be planted on the grave.
Ask the NDC
If you want information about natural burial grounds in your area, contact the NDC to get a more detailed picture of each burial site, and other related options.
Talk to the burial ground operator
Clear communication with the burial site operator is very important to enable you to have total understanding of how the site is managed and maintained, both now and in the future. For example, some families organising a winter time funeral may not appreciate that a wildflower meadow might only be cut once a year - this can come as an unwelcome shock in July when the growth is at a peak. Establishing a relationship with the manager of your chosen site can provide you with valuable information that a funeral director alone may not be able to offer.
Visit before the funeral
We strongly recommend that wherever possible you visit the burial ground before the funeral. It is important to get the feel of a place which will be a special one for family and friends of the deceased in years to come. It may also be possible to choose the exact location of the grave in some cases.