Young ash trees are still in the morning sun, their leaves to grow complete. At their feet, a hole, freshly squeezed, lies empty and waiting. Beside it, packs of flowers, all tied with straw.
The only sound as the pallbearers walk through the woodland glade is the creaking of the coffin. It’s made from willow, a wood, and fulfills the requirement that everything buried this is made from natural substances and is able to break down .
“We only wanted to be able to provide an opportunity for people to choose to be buried in a way that was helpful to the planet as opposed to damaging,” says the Reverend Canon Charles Royden.
Woodland burials are a kind of a”natural” or even”green burial,” in which a body is put to rest as natural a manner as possible, without damaging the environment. Coffins and the clothes of the deceased must be made from natural substances and bodies shouldn’t be embalmed. If ashes are being buried, they must maintain a biodegradable urn.
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The clinic has exploded in popularity across the UK. The first woodland burial ground is thought to have been in the municipal cemetery of the city of Carlisle, at the northwest of England, in 1993, where households were provided the opportunity to forsake traditional tombstones in favor of planting an oak tree.
“Britain has led the globe and the move towards natural burials and they’ve become quite normalized today,” says Rosie Inman-Cook, the manager of the Natural Death Centre, a charity which gives advice on death and bereavement.
Inman-Cook says that there are over 300 natural burial sites in the united kingdom, but as yet statistics aren’t gathered on how many individuals have chosen this sort of burial.