We sometimes overhear unusual discussions while at the woods, separating fact and fiction about woodland burials seems well overdue.
So, here is what happens at a woodland burial, it really isn’t as wild as some people seem to think!
You can keep as many traditions as you wish. Use of a religious leader, music, traditional flowers etc are all possible with a woodland burial.
Outside of Covid restrictions, you can have any number of mourners and an Order of Service, just like a more traditional service. You could have the entire funeral at the woodland, or just a short interment after a service at more traditional venue.
Over the years we have had everything from a funeral with one person attending to a full Welsh Male Voice Choir. And everything in between. Our Funerals & Families Manager is a wealth of knowledge and ideas.
Of course, you may prefer to use the open air and more natural surroundings to deliberately move away from a traditional funeral. Maybe you do not want a religious service? You can choose a celebrant, or not have any ‘leader’ at all. Many of our families have very small, informal gatherings instead of a ‘funeral’ as we may think of it.
There can also be more participation at the woodland. A service could include planting a tree, creating a wildlife habitat or scattering our wildflower seeds.
There are some practical issues about a woodland burial that may be different. For example, a coffin does need to be bio-degradable, and the same for a shroud. This means we often work with families to make small adjustments, like changing the plastic handles for wooden ones.
One rumour we have overheard is that people are placed naked into their grave – this is NOT the case. We are honoured by every family that trusts us to look after their loved one. We treat both the living and the dead with the utmost respect and care.
While we request that a coffin does not contain any unnecessary additional items, especially those made from plastic or metal, we always consider each individual situation on its own merits.
Being in a woodland setting also means we try to reduce the impact of cars, by encouraging walking, car sharing and offering a minibus service.
Floral tributes shouldn’t contain glitter or fake berries to protect the wildlife, but again, we can usually discuss and suggest ideas to meet most needs or preferences. You can get some ideas from this great post.
We are always keen to hear your ideas, do get in touch with any questions about woodland burial at firstname.lastname@example.org