Rules and Regulations
The Willows is a natural burial ground which means tributes and memorials placed on or near a plot must be natural, native British and fully bio-degradable. Please read below for more information on the rules maintained by The Willows in order to sustain the natural beauty and integrity of the burial ground.
For more information about PLANTING rules, CLICK HERE.
Site Rules and Regulations
The regulations are essential to combine a sincere respect for the departed, with a sympathetic management and planting programme in order to create an area that is peaceful, pleasant, ecologically rich and a fitting memorial.
The burial site is managed by The Willows Natural Burial Grounds Ltd, the regulations are there to enable us to shape and preserve a natural area for the benefit of nature, and for the future generations of visitors that we have.
No seed may be scattered on the burial ground unless approved by The Willows. Many seeds sold commercially as ‘wild’ or ‘woodland’ have inappropriate species within the mixture, or have come from abroad.
Picking of flowers or shrubs, or the unauthorised planting of any flowers or shrubs, is prohibited because it will prevent the regeneration of the natural landscape. Construction or maintenance of 'flower beds' is not permitted.
No naturally germinated seedlings apart from bramble, thistle and nettle may be weeded from the plots.
All visitors shall behave in a law-abiding and appropriate manner.
Mobile phones should be switched to silent.
Children must be supervised by an adult at all times.
To avoid disturbing nesting birds and other wildlife, no dogs, or pets of any nature (with the exception of guide dogs) are allowed in the burial grounds unless there has been a prior agreement with The Willows management.
The burial ground is criss-crossed by a network of permanent pathways, where possible, please use the paths.
Litter bins are not provided, so it is expected that visitors will take their litter home such as ribbon or plastic wrappings left within bunches of flowers.
The burial ground is being developed to encourage a natural landscape; therefore the erection of any monuments, kerbs, fences or railings are not allowed. Similarly, vases sunk discreetly into the soil will be removed.
The Willows Natural Burial Grounds Ltd will remove any objects placed in the burial ground, judged to be inappropriate to the purpose of the natural burial site. These objects include (but are not limited to) artificial flowers and plants, plastic ornaments, toys, photographs and receptacles for holding fresh plants or flowers.
Visitors must not disturb the wildlife nor may they remove any material from the burial ground. No shooting or hunting is permitted.
Although the greatest care is taken to safeguard the well being of all the trees, some will fail to thrive and others will need management, including coppicing. We reserve the right to carry out any remedial work or removal of trees that are inhibiting the full development of the planting plan.
We reserve the right to refuse burial if the following conditions are not met:
As a natural burial ground we welcome bio-degradable, non toxic coffins and ashes caskets. Traditional wooden coffins are acceptable, as long as they are made with wood taken from managed, sustainable forests. It must be noted that we do not permit non-degradable linings or plastic: e.g. handles, linings and pillows etc. should be made from, and stuffed, with natural fibers.
We allow people to be buried with certain possessions or artifacts but these must be made from natural materials.
The purchase of a burial plot is for the right of burial in the plot only and does not confer ownership of the ground or any other rights.
All excavations of graves and all other works are carried out either by an employee of the company or by a person approved by them.
Floral tributes may be placed on the grave at the time of the funeral but they will be removed after a reasonable period. This is to allow the natural ground cover to develop. We ask that tributes are constructed using natural products, if possible, as oasis and plastic trays create a considerable disposal problem.
No body shall be buried unless the death has been registered and the proper documentation is supplied to The Willows.
No cremated remains shall be buried, unless a certificate of cremation is supplied. This will be from an approved crematorium.
No body shall be removed from any grave in the burial ground, once interred, without a licence from the Secretary of State under section 25 of the Burial Act 1857.
THE DIRECTORS ASK SINCERELY THAT ALL VISITORS TREAT THE BURIAL GROUND WITH CARE AND RESPECT SO THAT IT MAY BECOME A PLACE FOR QUIET, PERSONAL REFLECTION.