There are around three hundred natural burial sites in the UK; a natural burial is an increasingly common choice for bereaved families.
I have conducted ceremonies at many such sites, sometimes complete with wellington boots! Typically, there will be a funeral ceremony in a nearby hall or shelter (which was literally a cowshed on one occasion). Then followed by a short procession to the graveside, where some further poems and/or readings may be made before the final words of the Committal. The coffin is then lowered into the grave by the funeral director’s bearers. Alternatively, the occasion may be an interment of ashes.
I’m always struck by the quiet dignity and sense of certainty at such locations. References to nature and wildlife are a common theme.
Some of the sites where I’ve given ceremonies (in alphabetic order):
- Acorn Ridge, Newbury
- Greenacres Chiltern
- Henley Woodland Burial Ground
- Sheepdrove Natural Burial Wood, Lambourn
- Westmill Woodland Burial Ground, Highworth
“It was a lovely tribute you paid to dad, it was as if you knew him. The whole ceremony was all we could have wished for, full of so much joy, humour and of course sadness. Everyone commented on what a special day it was,
such a special place Sheepdrove is and how great you were.”
“I am extremely grateful to Simon. It wasn’t just the eulogy, it was the whole ceremony which he put together, very calmly and organised. Most importantly he spent time understanding who my partner was. This shone through on the day – so many people commentated afterwards that it was a real celebration of my partner’s life. Thank you.”