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Traditional burials a thing of the past?
Posted 21st January 2019


On your death, you were buried. It was not until 1885 when the first ever cremation
took place; a lady named Jeanette Pickersgill, and with cremations becoming more
popular, there were new cremation regulations put in place in 1930. The number of
bodies cremated on death steadily increased and between then and the present time close to 80% of all bodies are cremated on death.

Although there are different rules in different areas, most counties across the UK are stopping the purchasing of burial plots in advance. In most cases, when looking to purchase a plot in advance, your options are limited. You can obtain ‘exclusive rights’ which gives you a set period of years where you are able to choose who is buried in that plot. This period of time is usually set between 25-99 years. If this period of time lapses, you would typically have the option to renew the ‘exclusive rights’ for an extended period of time.

Many councils are worried that we will soon run out of land and as a consequence of this, family members can expect to pay £2,000 or more for a burial plot at time of need.

What are my other options?

Natural/Woodland burials
A Natural burial is where the body is placed in an eco-friendly coffin (or in some cases, an eco-friendly wrap) and buried in land/a site solely dedicated to these types of burials. As this burial is completely natural, it is good for the environment, wildlife and nature. In some cases, there is a tree planted on top of the grave.

Natural burials (also known as woodland burials and green burials) are on the rise. There is said to be over 270 site across the UK. Here is the Woodland Trusts list of sites:

Although this is still fairly new, there is a big rise in a number of people opting for this. Plots at these sites tend to start from around £800 (this usually does not include additional grave-digger fees as well as the coffin).

Bio Urn Trees
The newest invention is the bio urn trees. This is a process where your ashes are placed inside a pod (a biodegradable urn), and a tree is planted above. The idea is that the interred ashes act as nutrients and become part of the tree’s growth, acting as a great memorial for surviving family members and loved ones.

Believe it or not, once upon a time, there was no such thing as a cremation of a deceased.

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