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.

A Simple Natural Burial Service

It is important to us to ensure we offer a complete range of green funeral services. Natural funerals, direct natural burials and direct cremation with natural interment of cremated remains are all available. However, we understand that there is also a need for a simple natural burial that allows for a service for a limited number of people to attend, whilst keeping costs as low as possible.

That’s why we have developed our Simple Natural Burial Service. To allow for close family to say goodbye in person, without having to pay for a burial plot.

This is a limited service allowing The Natural Burial Company to reduce costs as much as possible. Accordingly, the plot is selected by The Natural Burial Company as is the time of the service. Up to 6 people can attend the interment and the rights to the the grave are not transferred. These grave rights can be purchased at a later date though if you wish.

The total cost of the Simple Natural Burial Service is £2,250. This is an inclusive cost for all a complete burial service, including a Cardboard Coffin. You can also pay for a different coffin, and a Celebrant to conduct a service.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our team on (0116) 222 0247 or by email [email protected] if further information is required.

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 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.

Survey shows public demand for greener funerals

A survey, conducted by The Natural Burial Company, has provided clear evidence of public demand for greener funerals, and for more information to be available regarding environmentally friendly funeral options.

Many people are looking to be more environmentally friendly in their lives. However, there has previously been little research regarding demand for green and environmentally friendly funerals. Therefore, The Natural Burial Company conducted a public survey between July and September, the results of which are clear.

The conclusions of the survey are simple. Many want a greater choice of greener options and transparency in information available. More information, and availability of green funeral options is essential. Allowing the bereaved an “Informed Choice” is key.

The survey asked 20 questions, with the opportunity to provide additional information regarding personal attitudes and opinions on green funerals.

Key findings from the survey are as follows.

73% of respondents stated that they would prefer to use the services of a funeral company that worked to strong environmental standards. A further 25% stated that they probably would.

98% of respondents believed that funeral service providers should have information readily available regarding green products and services. 67% thought this should be mandatory.

When asked “what would stop you from arranging an environmentally friendly funeral” 67% stated availability of services, 41% cost and 22% lack of knowledge/awareness.

Knowledge of the cost of greener funerals also clearly illustrates confusion amongst the public. 44% believed a green funeral to be more expensive and 25% less expensive than a traditional funeral service.

Regarding planning of their own funeral service, 56% have made no specific arrangements but stated that they want their funeral to be green.

When asked specific questions, 84% stated that they would select a coffin with “green” handles such as wood or rope, rather than the industry standard coloured plastic options. A further 5% answered that they would, dependent on cost.

This attitude also encompasses other related services. 83% said that they did not want floral tributes wrapped in plastic, and 75% would prefer not to have tributes in plastic trays or using florist foam/oasis.

Christopher Doggett, Managing Director of The Natural Burial Company said “It is clear that many wish for greener funerals, and want a greater understanding of what is available to them in time of need. Having a range of greener services and ensuring transparency regarding available options is so important”.

The Natural Burial Company will be conducting a similar survey in the summer of 2024 to gauge changes in demand and awareness.

For further information, including the full survey results, please contact Christopher at [email protected]

With thanks to Lili, The Countryside Celebrant, and Rachel for the photograph.

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]

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]

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.