Funerals and services

The majority of burials at the Dalton Woodland Burial Ground take place with some type of funeral ceremony around the grave. Sometimes it consists of the traditional faith based funeral rites but more often the ceremony is non-religious or humanist. Some families choose to have the burial preceded by a funeral service in a church or other place of worship but in this increasingly secular but still spiritual society we conduct many non-religious or humanist funerals which can give family and friends the opportunity to plan something completely different that more reflects the wishes and lifestyle of the deceased. Most of the funerals of what ever type we host take place at the graveside itself and are simple yet respectful without undue pomp and ceremony. The very nature of burial itself can be cathartic and can be a positive step in the grieving process. For most families organising a natural burial the ethos is “simple”, “no fuss” and “less is more” and they take comfort from the returning of a body back to the earth which sustained it.

The Dalton Woodland Burial Ground is available to anyone, from anywhere at the absolute discretion of the Registrar subject to the completion of the Statutory paperwork and payment of the relevant fees, regardless of race, religion or beliefs and although the site is not consecrated individual grave sites can be blessed.

We are here to offer advice and suggestions on how you want the funeral service and burial to be conducted; from the ritual walk and the bearing of the coffin to the final lowering into the grave and the committal. We can suggest suitable readings for the grave side and little individual touches that you would not normally see in a municipal cemetery or that are not allowed in production line crematoria. The emphasis is natural and simple dignity with the opportunity to give thanks for a life lived.

We actively support low cost, low carbon, no fuss, family organised funerals and we can advise you on the legal requirements and statutory paperwork and where to source inexpensive coffins.

We do not require that you use the services of a Funeral Director although most families do, and all Funeral Directors are welcome.

We only accept a maximum of 2 funerals or services on any given day. Bookings are made in such a way that no funeral or service will overlap with another, allowing complete peace and privacy giving mourners time to both grieve and reflect and importantly to celebrate a life lived.

Many people are now opting for services to be conducted by a celebrant rather than a faith minister and details on our links page will take you through to an organisation for celebrants, or ministers, who will lead funeral ceremonies. Although we are not able to endorse any particular celebrant, the organisations listed all have processes for training, accrediting and monitoring their members; please do contact us if you need advice.

There is now a wide range of environmentally acceptable alternatives to the traditional coffin from woollen shrouds to felt eco-pods and from hand painted cardboard coffins to hand woven wicker caskets – please do not hesitate to contact us for advice and suggestions as the options available are constantly changing and the range always expanding.

In common with most natural burial grounds all burial or interment vessels including fixtures, fittings and liners must be of biodegradable construction and we can provide details of suitable suppliers.
Coffins made of veneered chipboard or MDF are banned as are coffins made from tropical hardwoods, even those from assumed sustainable sources.

A body that has been subject to embalming or treated with formaldehyde may not be interred at the site other than in exceptional circumstances i.e. a body repatriated from abroad and only with the express permission of the Registrar.

“…death is only an horizon and an horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight”

Rossiter W. Raymond (1840 – 1918)

“You only live twice: once when you are born and once when you look death in the face.”

Ian Fleming (1908 – 1964)