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Green burials - the 'rules'

The burial field is part of the nature reserve. The aim is to keep things as natural as possible. Hence we don't allow upright markers or grave stones or the planting of non native plants and flowers. Coffins must be quickly biodegradable with no plastic or metal. The deceased may be buried in a shroud. The deceased should be dressed in natural fabrics. It is not mandatory to use a funeral director and, although grave digging would normally be arranged by the trust, we allow friends/family to dig the grave themselves (the nature of the underlying clay soil means this can be very challenging).

Before requesting a burial at the site please consider the following points relating to the future maintenance of plots.


The site is administered by the Butler Memorial Trust and the aim of the trustees is to provide a more natural, tranquil and environmentally friendly ALTERNATIVE to conventional burial rather than to create a cemetery or a memorial garden.


The burial ground lies within a nature reserve. The aim of the trustees is that plots return to nature and are not carefully tended graves. To facilitate maintenance and to minimise impact on the natural environment (including the visual environment) it is necessary to impose some ‘rules’ pertaining to the marking and maintenance of plots:


  • appropriate NATIVE plants may be planted on graves but please be aware that future maintenance may include mowing or grazing over plots. It may also be necessary to ‘top up’ a plot that has sunk, potentially covering anything planted on the grave. The trust does not guarantee the success of any plants on a plot or undertake to alter the maintenance regime to accommodate them.

Advice should be sought from the Trust if you are unsure what plants are appropriate.

‘Weeding’ of plots is discouraged. A weed is simply a plant in the wrong place, in this setting grasses, Plantains, Dandelions etc are not weeds but desirable native plants.


  • any marker placed on the grave must be flat, of wood or natural stone and must not exceed 12” (30cm) in any direction.


  • markers must be placed flat on the grave. UPRIGHT MARKERS ARE NOT PERMITTED. This is partly to facilitate maintenance of the site and partly to preserve its unspoiled visual character.


The burial ground will be maintained by the trust as befits a nature reserve and any plants or objects considered inappropriate may be removed.

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