Traditional Burial

How does a traditional burial differ from a woodland or natural burial?

Most of us are familiar with the idea of a traditional burial, also known as an interment or inhumation, which usually takes place at the local church or town cemetery. You have a greater choice of what type of coffin or casket can be used, embalming is allowed, and the graves are clearly marked. This gives family and friends a marked place to revisit when they want to remember their loved one.

Natural and eco burials usually take place in woodland or flower meadows, often in land designated to become a nature reserve, and the graves are often unmarked or set only with small biodegradable markers, such as wooden plaques.

Choosing a burial plot

The burial plot can be for individuals or family groups, and can be chosen years in advance, so that family members know that, when the time comes, that they will be laid to rest together.

Exclusive Right of Burial

Burial plots are rarely actually ‘sold’ but are in fact leased for a period of time, usually 50-100 years. This is what’s known as ‘Exclusive Right of Burial’ and means that for a set period of time, no-one else can be buried in the same plot without the lease-owner’s permission.

It is important to keep copies of any birth and death certificates, and any deeds relating to the grave of a relative, as you will need these to prove ownership when the lease expires.

When the Exclusive Right of Burial expires, the landowner or cemetery owner will try to contact the surviving family to see if they would like to purchase a further lease, before potentially digging another grave on the plot. In busy cemeteries where demand for plots is high, it isn’t unusual for a ‘new’ grave to be a grave previously used more than 75 years ago, where the lease has expired. The previous coffin will have decayed, and any remains are buried beneath the new grave.

How much does a burial plot cost?

The cost of burial plots vary greatly, depending on where you are in the country, whether it’s a single or double depth plot, and whether it’s a rural location or city cemetery. For this reason, pre-paid funeral plans generally do not cover the cost of a burial plot, as they are subject to change.

There will be a fee for the grave itself, and separate fees for the grave digging and interment (sometimes these fees come as one, depending on the cemetery). Some cemeteries have different rates for residents, someone who lived in the local area, and for non-residents, so it is always a good idea to have the address of the person who has passed to hand when you make enquiries.

Traditional Burial Funerals with female-led Independent Funeral Directors in Bishops Stortford. 01279 860555. 24 Hour Service.

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