Why do People Really Want Woodland Burials?

One of the biggest changes in recent years to the approach to funerals is that more people than ever are considering a natural burial.  Examples such as woodland burials are proving more popular with people for a variety of reasons including awareness of the damage to the environment than other types of funeral can cause.  Plus, for many, there is something restful and tranquil about the woodland areas that makes them an inviting place to be laid to rest.

The case against cremation

Cremation has long been used as the standard for a more environmentally friendly funeral option because there is no plot of land required for the burial.   And while this is true, there are concerns about the process of cremation and the resources used to cremate a body that are leading people to question its eco-friendly credentials.

For example, a single cremation uses the same amount of fossil fuels as a 500-mile car trip.  And it releases a significant amount of gases into the environment, including carbon dioxide.  While filters are used to catch some of these gases, the system isn’t a guarantee and much toxic gas is released into the atmosphere every time.  Other concerns include the elements within our bodies that we accumulate such as heavy metals that can be toxic and remain within the cremated remains.  These are then spread onto the earth and these toxic elements can be absorbed by the ground.

Growth of woodland burials

Currently, there are over 200 woodland burial grounds around the UK and numbers continue to increase.  These include natural areas such as meadows as well as wooded areas and feature a big emphasis on the natural environment.  This includes planting trees rather than placing a headstone or using a simple wooden or bronze plaque to commemorate the person.

Woodland burial grounds have a huge emphasis on preserving and protecting the natural environment as well as encouraging the native wildlife and flowers.  This means that there will be some limits as to what plants or trees you can use to commemorate someone – native species only is the most likely rule.

Remembering loved ones

As well as planting trees, there are other ways to help remember someone in a woodland burial that is unique to this environment.  Some sites offering features such as stone or oak benches with commemorative plaques while others even put up bird nesting boxes or bat roosting boxes in honour of someone – very popular for bird or bat lovers.

Even spreading wildflower seeds over the grave to create a beautiful and natural covering for the grave is something that some woodland burial grounds suggest.  Anything that enhances the natural environment and doesn’t interfere with it is welcome in these areas.

A popular option

Woodland and other natural burials are an increasingly popular option for people who dislike format cemeteries and are concerned about the issues around cremation.  It is also a great option for anyone who loved the outdoors, natural, wildlife and even gardening during life as it would be a place they would love.

…the whole place looks so beautiful! I am just glad we found Westall Park in time. The beauty of the whole place buffers the sadness of the loss…

Testimonial from:

Valeria Perreria

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Tel: 01386 792 806

Westall Park
Holberrow Green
Nr Redditch
B96 6JY


Office open Mon-Fri 9.00 to 13.30 & 14.30 to 17.00. Open for visitor access 7 days a week.


Everyone is welcome to visit Westall Park within opening hours, but if you would like to have a guided tour or to purchase plots then, to make sure we can give you our undivided attention, we recommend that you book an appointment. Our office is manned Monday to Friday 9am to 1.30pm & 2.30pm to 5pm however the site is open for visitor access 7 days a week.