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]

A Meaningful Direct Cremation

Whilst Direct Cremation offers numerous advantages, such as cost and simplicity, it has been rightfully noted that an unattended cremation may not allow the opportunity to say goodbye to a loved one. We share this concern and would never wish for anyone to have regrets. That’s why we always provide Direct Cremation services followed by a memorial service or celebration of life at our natural burial grounds.

A Direct Cremation can be arranged with The Natural Burial Company and we will then conduct an interment of the cremated remains at the natural burial ground on a day and time convenient to you. This interment can be conducted with tributes, music, and readings. In fact everything that you would want to ensure a truly personalised goodbye. This can also include having a picnic at the natural burial ground if you wish. Many find this a relaxed and rewarding way to share stories and memories with family and friends. Furthermore, we have no time constraints at our natural burial grounds, so you don’t have to worry about being moved on to accommodate another service.

Furthermore, to ensure a natural legacy all of our Direct Cremation services include an interment at the natural burial ground, with three trees planted for each service conducted – one on the grave and two on another area of a natural burial ground.

We can provide shelters, chairs, quality blue-tooth speakers and refreshments. Our team prepare everything and remain present at all times, but you can also conduct everything, including the interment of your loved one and the planting of the tree on the plot, yourselves.

The Natural Burial Company team care deeply for the bereaved and the environment, and we will always do what we can to ensure a meaningful, personal goodbye. Further details are available here Direct Cremation – Direct Natural Funerals (funeralsdirect.co.uk) alternatively, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or on (0116) 222 0247.

A Direct Cremation with a Natural Legacy

We understand that for many reasons you may opt for a direct cremation. Cost, simplicity, or a desire for a more personalised celebration or service after the cremation are just some of the reasons.

However, as we all become more environmentally conscious it is understandable that giving something back to nature is important. Ensuring a natural legacy is a wonderful way to achieve this.

Accordingly, we have chosen to plant three trees for each direct cremation we conduct. Typically, this would be one tree on the grave plot at time of interment of cremated remains, and two trees elsewhere at one of our natural burial grounds. If you would prefer not to have a tree on the grave all three trees can be planted together.

We also wish to ensure that the trees we plant have an immediate impact, not only regarding beauty, but also the positive impact they have on the environment. As such, trees planted are typically a minimum of 2 metres in height at time of planting (subject to species). We will also provide complimentary packs of meadow flower seeds that you can use as you wish. Many people choose to scatter some around the grave, and save some for their own garden or a favourite place.

For further information, or if we can help in any way please don’t hesitate to contact us 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.

Direct Cremations from The Natural Burial Company

On occasions we are asked “why does The Natural Burial Company conduct Direct Cremations?” The answer to us is simple, we wish to provide services in the most environmentally friendly way to meet the needs of the bereaved.

We understand that for many reasons people will choose to be cremated, accordingly we would be failing in our duty of care if we did not support this. Therefore, we are proud to provide direct cremation services followed by an environmentally friendly interment of cremated remains.

For each direct cremation we conduct we plant three trees, one on the grave and a further two at one of our natural burial grounds. The trees planted are typically around 2 metres in height (6 to 7 foot, although this will vary by variety), so they are immediately making a difference to the environment.

This not only ensures support for the environment, it also allows you the peace of mind of knowing that there is a beautiful natural legacy for future generations. You may also visit the burial ground whenever you wish, remembering your loved one whilst being at one with a beautiful, natural environment.

The advantages of direct cremation are well known, simple, cost-effective, and allowing a celebration or service to be conducted with the ashes at a later date (for example in the Spring or Summer, when everyone in the family is available, to arrange a picnic at the interment). The Direct Cremation with Natural Interment of Cremated Remains allows this cremation service, whilst ensuring that our dedicated team are supporting you at every step.

For more information regarding services provided by The Natural Burial Company please ring (0116) 222 0247 or email [email protected]

Direct Cremation in Winter, Funeral or Celebration Service in the Spring

Whilst there is clearly no good time to say goodbye to a loved one, one of the advantages of Direct Cremation with Natural Interment of Cremated Remains is that you can wait until more agreeable weather before you meet with family and friends to say goodbye.

A Direct Cremation can be conducted at the time of need during the winter months. Our team will then collect and care for the cremated remains (ashes) until you are ready. A funeral service, celebration of life, or remembrance service can then be conducted in the spring, summer, or on the anniversary of an important day.

This allows many advantages. Time to plan and ensure that everyone is available, to make sure that everything is just right, and if you wish to add anything special to the day. The natural interment of cremated remains can include music and a picnic if you wish. Many people are finding the experience of saying goodbye to a loved one, then planting a tree in their memory, and having a picnic to remember and share stories of good times at the natural burial ground a great comfort.

Our team can provide shelters and chairs, picnic blankets, a quality blue-tooth speaker and tables for food and drink. We will also prepare the plot for you and be available throughout your time at the burial ground to help in any way we can.

For further information you are welcome to contact our team on (0116) 222 0247 or by email [email protected]

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.

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.