Natural Burials Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Natural Burial?

A natural burial embraces all faiths, or no faith at all, allowing people perfect freedom to acknowledge and celebrate loved ones exactly as they wish. Bodies are committed to the land with minimal disturbance to the natural environment and with no lasting impact. Graves remain unmarked, (although plotted with highly accurate geographic information system - GIS), allowing the natural habitat to become a living memorial. More information on natural burials can be found at The Natural Death Centre.

Is Sheepdrove Natural Burial Ground consecrated?

No. Consecrated ground is dedicated as ‘sacred’ (usually) by a specific religion. Sheepdrove Natural Burial ground is open to people of all faiths, or no faith.

Do I have to use a Funeral Director?

No. Many people choose to make all of the arrangements themselves although some prefer the support of a professional. A good Funeral Director or Undertaker will provide as much or as little help as you require.

Do I have to have a funeral service?

You do not have to have any service at all although most people choose some form of ceremony to mark the burial of a loved one.

Can you help me organise the funeral?

Although we are not funeral directors ourselves, we are able to put you in touch with relevant professionals and will liaise appropriately to ensure that all goes smoothly.

Can I hold a wake or life celebration at Sheepdrove? 

Yes, Sheepdrove’s Eco-Conference Centre can accommodate a wide range of catering options, from a simple cup of tea to formal seated dining for up to 150 guests. Please contact us for more details on 01488 674747

Is the burial ground officially regulated?

We are a member of the Association of Natural Burial Grounds which has been established by The Natural Death Centre. This means we comply with the the ANBG Code of Conduct aimed at ensuring the highest professional and environmental standards, which means we provide our customers assurance of best practice as well as being registered with the West Berkshire Council.

Is the future of Sheepdrove Natural Burial Ground secured? 

The burial ground is held in trust for the long-term future. Should the burial ground ever cease to operate or reach maximum capacity, it will be set aside as a memorial woodland.

Will the burial plot I purchase ever be reused?

No, this will never happen.

Can I arrange interment of my loved one’s ashes at Sheepdrove Natural Burial Ground?

Yes, absolutely.

What burial materials are permitted at Sheepdrove? 

Only 100% bio-degradable materials are allowed to be buried. Wool, cotton, wicker, cardboard are all acceptable. Coffins or shrouds can be used.

Can I have a memorial to my loved one at Sheepdrove Natural Burial Ground?

Our native woodland is intended as a natural living memorial and so, in order to preserve the natural beauty of the land, no memorials are permitted except for cut natural flowers or planted wildflowers. See below.

Can I place or plant flowers at Sheepdrove Natural Burial Ground?

Yes, you can. Cut flowers in their natural state can be placed on graves providing they are free of all wrapping, containers, ribbons etc. Wildflowers must be native to the British Isles and supplied by Sheepdrove Organic Farm. Please contact us for more information.

Can I plant a memorial tree?

No, as the site is a native woodland, there is no availability for additional trees.

Can I be buried with my loved one when I die? 

Adjacent plots can be purchased. We are unable to accommodate two bodies in one grave.

Can I access the burial ground at any time? 

Yes, our site is open 24 hours, all year round.

When I visit can I bring my dog onto the site? 

Yes, provided you keep him/her on a lead at all times. It is important that you clean up any mess your pet makes.

For more information and to check availability call 01488 674747 or complete the enquiry form.

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