What is a Green Funeral?

We understand that many people would like to know more about green funerals but may find it difficult to find information. Therefore, we offer various options to help the public, community groups, and funeral service professionals to be more aware of how a goodbye can be as environmentally friendly as possible.

You can arrange to meet a member of our team at one of our natural burial grounds at any time, we can also visit you.

Community Groups

We can visit your community group and conduct presentations on Making a funeral greener, Cost-effective Funeral Services, or Natural Burial. The presentation can be general or can include the services provided by The Natural Burial Company. The presentation will finish with a question and answer session and information will be available to take away.

Alternatively, groups can visit our natural burial grounds for a tour and explanation of natural burial, what we offer, and how all funerals can be greener.

Funeral Service Professionals

Celebrants, funeral directors and arrangers, florists, end of life doulas and anyone involved in bereavement and funeral services is welcome to arrange to visit our burial grounds. We can also visit branches and offices to provide information to help professionals be better equipped to help support clients and the general public regarding green funerals.

The General Public

Everyone is welcome to contact us at any time for further information. You can phone on (0116) 222 0247 or email [email protected] and we can send information by email or post.

A personal visit to a natural burial ground is often the best option if you are able, this allows the greatest understanding of natural burial and how we encourage nature and ensure a natural legacy for all in our care.

Our team are here to help everyone to make the right choices for themselves, their loved ones, and the environment.

Helping you make an informed choice

When arranging a funeral service many people look for environmentally friendly options. But if the information you require is not available how do you know you are making the right decision?

For example, many “traditional” coffins have gold, silver or bronze coloured plastic handles. It is believed that up to 3 million of these single use plastic handles are used each year. Alternative handles, such as rope or wood, are available, but they are not always listed within a coffin range.

However, alternatives are available for both traditional and more modern styles of coffin and casket. Accordingly we are asking for all in funeral service to ensure that this open “informed choice” is available to all when arranging a funeral service.

To play our part in helping everyone to make an informed choice we now offer a new complete range of environmentally friendly coffins, caskets, and shrouds. For all coffins and caskets our website and literature will provide details of materials used and where it was weaved/made/manufactured. We believe that this will allow a greater understanding of not only the coffins available, but also the environmental impact they may have.

Furthermore, as supporting the bereaved and fighting funeral poverty is key to our ethos, we do make sure that our coffins, caskets and shrouds are fairly priced as well as being as green as possible.

Our range includes Cardboard, Bamboo, Willow and Woollen, as well as the Earthcare Coffin made predominantly using recycled paper and bark timber from FSC forests. We can also offer additional coffins upon request and are happy to provide the green credentials for all.

Whilst we offer a comprehensive range we do appreciate that you may also have your own family funeral director that you may wish to use. Many funeral directors offer a comprehensive range of coffins and caskets and will be happy to help meet your requests. We allow all environmentally friendly coffins in our burial grounds.

We would welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have. Our team are available on (0116) 222 0247 or [email protected]

Service, Care, and Value for Money

You may have seen the recent SunLife Cost of Dying 2024 Report*, this provides a breakdown of average costs for funerals, including direct cremations and direct burials, nationwide.

At The Natural Burial Company we are concerned at these findings. Our ethos is simple, Care for the Environment, Care for the Bereaved, and Fighting Funeral Poverty. Accordingly whilst not only ensuring we provide environmentally friendly funerals to encourage nature and leave a natural legacy, we also ensure our pricing is fair and provides excellent value for money.

The SunLife survey states that the average cost of a “basic funeral” which includes a limousine and a midrange coffin is £4,141. A rise of 4.7% from the previous year.

The average cost listed by SunLife for a burial service is £5,077. For comparison a burial service provided by The Natural Burial Company, with a comparable coffin, new grave and interment fees (but no limousine) is £3,030 at our Prestwold and Scraptoft Natural Burial Grounds, and £3,200 at our Wrottesley Park Natural Burial Ground. Even adding the cost of an external celebrant (average £220) the Natural Burial Funeral Service costs £1,827 less than the average (£1,657 less at Wrottesley Park).

For Direct Burial the difference is even more stark, with the average cost listed by SunLife as £1,657 without third party fees such as the plot. The cost of the Natural Burial Company Direct Burial is £1,740, which includes the plot and all fees.

The cost listed for Direct Cremation is £1,498. This is below the Natural Burial Company cost. However, The Natural Burial Company charges include plot and interment fees, and the planting of 3 trees. The price is £1,750 with an unattended interment or £1,980 with a full graveside service/celebration of life, including tree planting.

We understand that money is tight for so many people and we want to do what we can to help at this most difficult of times. Accordingly, you are welcome to contact our team at any time on (0116) 222 0247 or by email [email protected]

* sunlife.co.uk/siteassets/documents/cost-of-dying/sunlife-cost-of-dying-report-2024.pdf/

Prices correct at 25th January 2024.

Simple, Low Cost, and Environmentally Friendly

You may have considered direct cremation for yourself or a loved one, but there are so many options available. How do you know which is right for you, your family and the environment?

The Natural Burial Company are an experienced team dedicated to caring for the deceased and the environment. Our aim is always to provide the best possible service. Accordingly the care and standards provided for our direct cremation and direct burial services are exactly the same as for our full natural burial services.

The same team of experienced, caring professionals, care for you and your loved one. Our arranging team, Nina, Kayleigh and Christopher have a combined experience of over 60 years caring for the bereaved.

We can make all aspects of the service as simple as possible for you. We can meet you at one of our natural burial grounds or visit you in your own home. Alternatively, all arrangements may be made by email, telephone or a teams/skype call. Once your requirements are confirmed we remain available to help you and your family.

We endeavour to keep our costs low, and whilst we acknowledge that you will find cheaper alternatives, we believe that the quality of our personal care and the service we provide ensures exceptional value.

Care for the environment remains key to our ethos, that’s why three trees are planted for each direct cremation conducted. Our trees are sourced from one of the very best nurseries in the UK, who provide us with trees of exceptional quality. Typically these trees are 5 to 8 feet in height (species dependent) at time of planting. These are not small “whips” as is often the case with other providers. These trees will also be planted on Natural Burial Company land. This ensures they will in time become a part of the memorial woodlands left to nature for future generations. All Natural Burial Company burial grounds will in time be left to nature to ensure a beautiful, natural legacy for those in our care.

We also understand that not everyone wants a cremation, but appreciated the advantages of a direct service. Accordingly, we offer a full Direct Burial service at our natural burial grounds. You would not know the exact location of your loved one, but could visit the burial ground at any time, knowing that the burial ground is itself a memorial to those in its care. Peace, tranquillity and a place to visit and remember can provide a great comfort,

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require further information, or if we can help in any way. Our team are available on (0116) 222 0247 or at [email protected]

The Good Funeral Awards 2023

The Natural Burial Company are proud to announce that we have once again been nominated in the highly prestigious Good Funeral Awards.

This year we have to date been nominated in three categories – Best Burial Ground, Best Innovative Service (for our Direct Natural Burials), and Best Bereavement Awareness Support (for Wrottesley Park Environment Day). The nominations remain open until 31st July so we may also receive further nominations. This is a great honour for The Natural Burial Company as we care deeply for providing the best possible service to the bereaved and the environment.

We are extremely pleased that our new Direct Funeral Services, Direct Natural Burial and Direct Cremation with Natural Burial of Cremated Remains, have had such a positive impact. We offer these services to help provide cost-effective, environmentally friendly services whilst also ensuring the same high level of care and support from our team.

We have been successful in previous years, winning Best Bereavement Awareness Day in 2019 and Burial Ground of the Year in 2021. We have also been honoured to have been nominated for awards in 2018 and 2022.

The Good Funeral Awards are presented annually in conjunction with the National Association of Green Funeral Directors, and nominations are received from those involved in funeral service and the general public. Accordingly, anyone can nominate those they believe have provided exceptional service in a number of categories covering all aspects of funeral service. This years event is being held on Saturday 23rd September at the National Conference Centre, Solihull, and further details of the event and how to nominate can be found here Home (agfdgoodfuneralawards.co.uk)

Our Burial Grounds – Scraptoft

Scraptoft Natural Burial Ground, near Leicester, provides a complete range of natural burial and direct cremation with natural burial of cremated remains services.

Scraptoft opened in 2002, as such many areas within the burial ground have matured into beautiful woodland. Plots within both the mature areas and developing woodland are available, meadow areas can also be chosen for interments. Benches are available throughout the burial ground to allow natural, tranquil places to sit and remember, surrounded by birdsong and nature.

The Natural Burial Company are now offering Direct Cremations with natural interment of cremated remains. This allows for a simple unattended cremation service followed by a Celebration of Life or interment service at Scraptoft Natural Burial Ground. The interment at Scraptoft includes a tree on the grave and a slate plaque. Two additional trees are also planted elsewhere to support the environment and to provide a beautiful, natural, legacy.

The natural burial ground is close to Leicester, but easily accessible from much of the East Midlands. Although everyone is welcome at Scraptoft and there are no additional charges or restrictions on who can be interred.

For further details, or to visit Scraptoft, our team can be contacted on (0116) 222 0247 or by email at [email protected]

Our Burial Grounds – Prestwold

Serving Loughborough, Charnwood, and all of the East Midlands. The Natural Burial Company provide Direct Cremations with natural burial of cremated remains, Direct Burial and full personalised funeral services at Prestwold Natural Burial Ground.

Situated in a quiet rural location, Prestwold was one of the very first natural burial grounds in the Midlands, opening in 1999. As such, many areas are now beautiful woodland as the trees planted in remembrance over the years have matured. This ensures a wonderful natural habitat for many forms of wildlife. To further support biodiversity other areas are left to nature, ensuring many benefits to the environment.

Recently a beautiful new area has been opened. The Orchards provides wonderful views of the countryside in a tranquil setting. Full interments and burials of Cremated Remains can be conducted here, with shelters and chairs available for a complete funeral service or celebration of life to be conducted. Refreshments and a Bluetooth speaker can also be provided free of charge.

Plots can be chosen and paid for in advance and our team are available to meet at the natural burial ground to answer your questions and explain the many options available.

For further information, or to arrange an appointment to meet, please telephone (0116) 222 0247 or email [email protected] our team would welcome the opportunity to help in any way that they can.

Our Burial Grounds – Wrottesley Park

For Direct Cremation with natural burial of cremated remains, Direct Burial, and fully personalised funeral services and Celebrations of Life in the West Midlands we offer the tranquillity and beauty of Wrottesley Park Natural Burial Ground.

Wrottesley Park is situated just outside of Wolverhampton, close to the villages of Perton, Tettenhall, and Codsall, with easy access to the A41 and Telford.

Once part of the historic Wrottesley Hall parkland, Wrottesley Park has now been returned to its former glory, providing a beautiful area within the woodland.

The burial ground is relatively new, opening in 2015, although the beautiful mix of new and mature trees, including two particularly outstanding Oaks, and meadows provides a perfect setting for nature and biodiversity.

As well as full and cremated remains interments there is a special area within the woodland for those who may wish to scatter ashes. A Memorial Tree area is also available with a variety of memorial trees available to provide a natural legacy for loved ones.

Unlike many traditional cemeteries in the area, there are no additional charges for those who live outside of the Wolverhampton, and those with all traditions and beliefs are welcome. There are no time constraints on services, and personalisation such as picnics and music are encouraged.

For further information on the available services, or to arrange a visit, please contact the Natural Burial Company team on (0116) 222 0247 or by email [email protected]

A Direct Funeral Can Still Be Personal

Much is said of direct funerals being impersonal and not allowing the family an opportunity to say goodbye. This does not have to be the case.

Whilst it is true that an unattended cremation or burial does not allow direct family involvement in this aspect of the service, a funeral or celebration of life can then be arranged. This allows many advantages, including.

Allowing family and friends to say goodbye together on a day and time convenient to all – This could be in the spring or summer if the death was during the winter months. The date could be arranged many months in advance to allow everyone the opportunity to attend. A picnic or other event could be arranged to ensure a truly personal goodbye.

The cost is much cheaper than a traditional funeral service – This allows money to be saved, or to be used for the celebration of life or special event.

You have time to plan – It will be difficult to make important decisions at a time of upset and distress. Having time to consider what’s really important can be so beneficial. Maybe arranging a family meal to remember your loved one and discussing favourite music, readings, poetry, and happy memories can be a positive experience.

Direct Cremation and Direct Burials are not for everyone and we understand that many find comfort in being present with the coffin. Therefore, we are dedicated to providing a full range of services for all. Our team are available to listen and help if you wish to arrange a direct or traditional service, always whilst ensuring that we adhere to our ethos of care and respect for the environment and the bereaved.

Services for All

We not only provide direct cremation and burial services, The Natural Burial Company also help support full funeral services. Our Family Led Services are arranged to ensure complete care and personalisation whilst also ensuring costs are kept to a minimum.

Our experienced team are able to provide a full range of services for those who may not wish to use a traditional funeral director. We offer an extensive range of coffins, caskets and shrouds, made from materials such as cardboard, bamboo and willow. Family and friends can fully support and truly personalise the service by carrying and lowering the coffin.

The service itself can be as traditional or personal as you wish. Our team will help support and guide you throughout all of the arrangements and make suggestions to ensure your final goodbye is exactly as you want it to be. Services can include music (live or via bluetooth speakers), songs, poems, readings, or whatever you believe is appropriate. A toast can be made at the graveside and picnics can be arranged. We do not have time constraints on our services and we only hold one a day at each burial ground so there is no requirement to leave to make way for another service.

All of our services are conducted ensuring our key ethos of care for the bereaved, care for the environment, and fighting funeral poverty. So you know we will be doing our best for you whilst caring for nature and supporting biodiversity.

Our prices for a complete Family Led Service, including all aspects of the funeral arrangements, service, grave and coffin start from £2,700 at our Prestwold (Loughborough) and Scraptoft (Leicester) Natural Burial Grounds, and £2,870 at Wrottesley Park (Wolverhampton) Natural Burial Ground. For further details please contact us on (0116) 222 0247 or by email [email protected]