When you've just lost someone close to you, you may struggle to think clearly about the music for their funeral. But take your time and ideas will come to you about music that feels appropriate and personal.
If you have never visited a natural burial ground, you may not be sure what to expect. But if you have got images of a traditional cemetery in your mind, think again.....
The two natural burial grounds of South Yorkshire Woodland Burial Ground and Golden Valley Woodland Burial Ground couldn't be more different from cemeteries where rows upon rows of headstones dominate.
Both the sites were set up over twenty years ago to provide people with a more environmentally-friendly option for their funeral - an option that meant that their passing could contribute to the development of a haven for wildlife. None of the graves has a vertical headstone, instead many being marked by a tree or a shrub, and/or wildflowers. And over time this has led to the growth of two special woodlands where the natural environment is a living memorial to those buried there.
South Yorkshire Woodland Burial Ground
The South Yorkshire Woodland Burial Ground was one of the first twenty natural burial grounds to be set up in the country and has been described as the most beautiful cemetery in the area. Nestled in the tranquil countryside near the village of Ulley by the Rotherham/Sheffield border, it is less than five minutes drive away from junction 31 of the M1.
It can be found on the quiet country lane (Ulley Lane/Turnshaw Road) which runs between the villages of Ulley and Aston-cum-Aughton, to the east of Sheffield. (Nearest postcoded address is S26 2DR - the burial ground is about another 500m closer to Ulley).
The Woodland Burial Ground is surrounded by fields and has a small stream running along its eastern boundary.
Golden Valley Woodland Burial Ground
The Golden Valley Woodland Burial Ground is tucked away in a quiet corner at the south eastern end of Butterley Country Park, near Alfreton, Derbyshire. It lies next to the Midland Railway Centre's heritage steam railway, near Alfreton, Derbyshire, the only woodland burial ground to have a steam railway running alongside.
The cemetery (postcode DE55 4ES) is accessed via a track leading from Newlands Road in Riddings which runs parallel to, and right next to, the heritage railway line. It is open to all, and often people who want to be buried, and to also have a Railway Funeral (https://www.peacefunerals.co.uk/blog/post/railway-funerals) will choose to be interred here.
What are the costs?
The prices at both burial grounds are the same.
For full burials, in adult graves, the interment (gravedigging) cost is £900. On top of this, there is the cost of burial rights to be paid for.
There are three types of adult grave, and the burial rights of each cost:
Single Burial plot - Tree includes cost of tree planted on grave £1725
Double Depth Burial plot – Shrub includes cost of shrub planted on grave £895
Double Depth Burial plot – No Tree No tree is allowed on these graves £745
It is also possible to have ashes interred at the burial grounds. The interment (gravedigging) fee is £175 on weekdays and £225 at weekends. On top of this there is the cost of burial rights to be paid for.
There are two types of ashes plot, and the burial rights of each are:
Double Ashes Shrub plot includes cost of shrub planted on grave £550
Quadruple Ashes Tree plot includes cost of tree planted on grave £1725
Included in the cost of the burial rights to all full and ashes burial plots is the cost of a stone tablet with up to 65 characters engraved on it.
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