It is not unusual for people to have lots of questions about burial and all that entails. Some of the most frequently asked questions are listed below. You need only select a question to reveal the answer.
If the question you have is not listed, simply contact us and we will do our best to assist you.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a pronounced effect on funerals and interments. These guidelines are very fluid and change at short notice. As a result we have a dedicated page for it which can be found here:- Covid-19 and the impact on funerals and interments.
The Trust has a number of aims including:-
- Provision and maintenance of Woodland sites.
- Provide diversity in woodland structure and fauna.
- Protect and safeguard notable species and communities.
- Help redress deforestation.
- Help protect the environment.
- Offer a natural resting place for the deceased - irrespective of religious beliefs.
- Provide services and support to the dying and bereaved.
- Educate and inform people in all walks of life.
- Non profit making.
We believe in total transparency. You can find out all you need to know about the Trust here:- Full details about our woodland burial trust.
It is important to select a coffin that is only made of natural, sustainable materials and will degrade safely without damaging the local environment. Examples include:-
More details can be found in our Coffins and Urns page
The Woodland Burial site now covers 12 acres of land - enough for many generations to come. A further 60 acres of woodland has been planted around us and this will ensure that we have plenty of established, young woodland to 'grow into' - all set in beautiful rolling countryside.
You can find out further information about it here:- Restoring ancient woodland in the UK.
Many people have been looking for an environmental alternative to the overcrowded and polluting burial grounds and crematoria run by local authorities. That is exactly what we offer, a final resting place amongst a woodland setting, for both burials and Ashes. Take a look at our dedicated page which explains why a green/natural/eco burial is the way to go...
Our aim is to make a positive improvement to the environment when someone passes away, the opposite of that offered by municipal authorities across the UK whose materials and practices are recognised as being damaging to the environment.
Our practices ensure that we support the environment and wildlife. Our managed woodland will become tomorrow's ancient woodland.
It is the ‘legal baggage’ of consecration which makes all the difference. See our dedicated page for full details:- Consecration.
Our woodland is one of only two protected woodland burial sites in the UK. It has the greatest level of protection that can be afforded under English Law and only an Act of Parliament can change that.
It is the ‘legal baggage’ of consecration that affords the greatest protection for land under English law and ensures that once land is set aside for burial it cannot be changed without an Act of Parliament. This protection is important for people of any faith position and simply comes from the fact that we have a state church in our country. See our dedicated page for full details:- Consecration.
Some people will be choosing a burial space following the death of a loved one, others will wish to make a reservation as a part of making their own preparations in advance. Whatever your personal situation, our administrator Samantha Ware will be pleased to chat with you on the phone or meet with you on site and show you the possibilities available. The following page offers you some preliminary guidance:- Organising a Woodland Burial.
Our administrator Samantha Ware will be pleased to chat with you on the phone or meet with you on site and discuss the possibilities available. The following page offers you some preliminary guidance:- Organising a Woodland Burial
To reserve a plot, call our administrator Samantha Ware who will be pleased to discuss and guide you on the matter.
A number of people like to plan their funeral in advance as it offers a number of additional benefits such as:-
- Reducing stress on the bereaved at what will already be a difficult time.
- Ensuring a service/ceremony is conducted in accordance with their wishes.
- Guaranteeing that they get the plot they wanted.
See here too for more details:- How to reserve a burial place.
We do not bury in double depth graves for environmental reasons. However if you wish to be buried next to somebody else we will be pleased to arrange reservation of an adjacent grave.
Further information can be found online here:- How to reserve a burial place.
Ashes can be buried in the woodland, either loose or in a biodegradable container. Suitable caskets are available from a variety of specialist companys (here are a few Ecoffin examples:-Coffins and Urns) or just ask your funeral director.
Fresh cut flowers may be placed in or on the graves, please remove cellophane, ribbons and non bio-degradable wrapping. Artificial flowers are not permitted and no vases or containers should be left*. Planting or cultivation in the burial ground is not permitted, since we are creating a natural woodland. The Trustees reserve the right to remove flowers placed on graves as part of routine care and maintenance.
*Our fully biodegradable Bamboo bio pots can be used as vases in the woodland. They can be purchased from our office or we will install/post one to you. Further details can be found here:- Woodland Burial Vases
Protection of the environment and wildlife conservation is important to the Trust. We are creating a place for nature, a beautiful natural woodland setting. It is therefore important that no memorials are used which are made from stone or non-biodegradable materials. All memorials must be specified and supplied by the Trust directly, so that we can ensure that the natural beauty of the woodland is preserved. The Trust has approved the fixing of an oak cross or alternatively an oak memorial, which may be suitably inscribed. These oak memorials have been selected by the Trustees since they will age naturally and be sympathetic to the woodland. Our administrator will be pleased to supply you with details. Plaques do not need to be placed on the grave at the time of burial but can be laid at a subsequent time. No charge will be made for the erection of a memorial. Please note that the Trust does not take responsibility for the memorials once fitted.
Further details about this can be found online here:- Natural Woodland Burial Memorials
Our fully biodegradable Bamboo bio pots can be used as vases in the woodland. They can be purchased from our office or we will install/post one to you. Further details can be found here:- Woodland Burial Vases
The woodland is always open but the gate at the Equestrian Centre may be closed between certain hours (see opening hours here - Woodland burial, gate access times. Access can still be maintained on foot at all times via the extensive network of Public Footpaths that service the woodland. Further details including directions and maps can be found here:- Woodland Burial Ground, Keysoe
When graveside ceremonies are arranged, the form of service and the person conducting it, must be agreed by the Administrator who acts on behalf of the Trustees. St Albans Woodland Burial Trust will be pleased to offer advice concerning the ceremony and our own clergy are pleased to conduct services for you. Alternatively we can arrange for another minister or civil celebrant of your choice.
Please refer to our Organising a Woodland Burial page.
No, but at such a difficult time, most people will find the services of a funeral director helpful if not essential, in making all the necessary arrangements. We always work extremely closely with the funeral directors chosen to ensure the wishes of the deceased and the family are met.
If you are not sure how to find a funeral director, see our Find a Funeral Director page
Many are willing to support a Woodland Burial. Take a look at our Funeral Directors page for local contact details.
There are woodland burial sites all over the country, all very different and offering something for individual to choose. We do not recommend other places for woodland burial, however we are pleased to present a register of other sites to enable you to look at what is available.Some sites are large commercial enterprises, others are non profit making charities, you will find some sites that are not really woodlands but rough areas added onto existing cemeteries, whilst others are much more natural settings. The important thing is that you are able to choose what is right for you and your family..
We have a dedicated page to help you find what you are looking for:- Woodland Burial Sites.
The woodland is a place where the public are welcomed, with public footpaths and rights of way. We encourage people to bring dogs and enjoy the woodland, we would of course expect all responsible dog owners to show respect.
We are dedicated to helping nature and the environment. If you live locally and would like to get involved physically, then we can find you plenty to do, if distance, time, health of other obstacles make that impossible, then please help by spreading the word about the Woodland, maybe donate; bottom line though, anyone that shares our passion will be warmly welcomed and the more members we have, the better!
To join, please refer to the Friends of the Woodland page for further details and a membership application slip. Alternatively, just contact us here at the office and we will be pleased to help.
Yes. We would be pleased to arrange for the dedication of a tree in memory of a loved one. This can be done at the time of a burial or at a later occasion. Should you wish to have an inscribed wooden memorial plaque placed by the tree, this can be arranged by the Trust too.
Further details about this can be found online here:- Natural Woodland Memorials
Yes, their are a number of venues in and around the area. We have shortlisted a few based on their close proximity to the Woodland and positive feedback. The list is by no means exhaustive but may help at this difficult time.
See our dedicated page for the details:- Funeral Reception Venues
Yes, many people do in form of cash, or via a legacy once they pass away. As a non-profit charity, every penny of your money goes towards restoring our ancient woodlands and in turn, supporting the environment, fauna and wildlife that depend on it.
Maybe consider becoming a Friend of the Woodland? It is only £25 for 5 years. For further details, see our dedicated page:- Join the Friends of the Woodland or contact us direct.
Obviously there is no limit to how much you donate.