‘Green funeral’ is a term often used to describe funeral services that take a less traditional form. This may mean choosing a location for the funeral service that is unusual, such as a woodland burial ground, deciding not to have overseas grown flowers on the funeral or selecting a coffin made of material other than wood.
It is sometimes the case that funeral directors will use the expression ‘Green Funeral’ to try to differentiate their service from that of others. An environmentally responsible funeral need not differ significantly from any other. By checking that the wood used to make a wooden coffin is obtained from sustainably managed resources, using a local cemetery or crematorium and arranging to share vehicles when travelling to and from the funeral would be significant strides to achieving an environmentally responsible funeral, if that is your preference.
Woodland burial grounds are cemeteries, often privately run, where strict rules govern what can and cannot be buried. These sites are presented in many different ways – some are pleasant and well presented, while others are hard to discern from traditional cemeteries. Each will have its own rules about what is and is not allowed. If you are considering a grave in a woodland burial ground, you should visit to see whether it is what you expect and ask to see their terms and conditions. Of particular interest should be the length of the exclusive right of burial and what the long term plans for the site are. As a guideline, most woodland graves are for one interment only and no memorialisation or formal maker of any type is allowed.
Woodland Burials are available locally at Higher Ground Meadow, Corscombe and at Bridport Cemetery as well as other locations within Dorset, Devon and Somerset