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Here at Newrest Funerals, we often get asked about the differences between a traditional burial and a woodland burial. If woodland burials are something you’d like to explore in greater depth, then our approachable advisors are on hand to offer specific guidance. In the meantime, we’ll outline the main differences – and similarities – of both these approaches to burials today.

Traditional Burials

Traditional burials take place in one of two places. These are graveyards, usually at a church, or a cemetery. In the UK, cemeteries are run by local authorities to provide a public space where people can be buried. In many cases, they are surrounded by parkland and they may have a wooded feel to them even if trees are dotted around the site rather than being a feature of the cemetery itself. 

Therefore, in some cases, a traditional burial can have a very natural feel to it. However, this will very much depend on the particular cemetery, its layout and its location. Please note that traditional burials with a hearse, a limousine, a burial plot and a wake tend to work out as more expensive than woodland burials depending on how many traditional elements you choose to include.

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Woodland Burials

A woodland burial differs from one that takes place in a graveyard or a cemetery because, as the name suggests, it will be conducted within a wood, not just close to one. Usually carried out in a tranquil setting with trees and wildflowers all around, a woodland burial provides a natural alternative to a traditional cemetery burial. Most places where woodland burials take place have been specifically converted to accommodate burials under land usage planning laws. That said, you can also book a woodland burial on land that you own if you have a large enough plot and your property meets the Environment Agency criteria for home burials.

Because more and more people are interested in natural or ecological funerals nowadays, there are plenty of sites where woodland burials can be arranged. Many have their own buildings available to book as a venue for the funeral service itself. Others are simply places for the burial itself to take place in a natural setting once the service has been conducted elsewhere. Either way, such establishments will usually accept burials of the body of the deceased as well as burials of their cremated remains as preferred.

In the case of a body burial, a low-cost biodegradable coffin or casket will be needed. This is so that the body and the coffin break down in the woodland without delay. For the same reason, woodland burials typically require the body not to have been embalmed before it is laid to rest. So far as formalities go, woodland burials offer a great deal of versatility. They can be short or long services, religious or secular. Many woodland burial sites like to maintain a natural look, so you may not be allowed a gravestone. Some allow simple grave markers, however.

Again, these are details we can help you with if you’d like to explore a woodland burial in greater detail. Our woodland funeral services start from as little as £955 so feel free to call us today as we can arrange them in every corner of the country.