What is the breakdown cost of a UK funeral? Reassured…
A woodland funeral is an eco-friendly or green alternative to a traditional funeral.
Also known as a woodland burial, it usually involves having a natural burial in a woodland setting.
There are designated woodland burial sites across the UK, found within parks, farmlands and nature reserves.
These are carefully preserved areas of land that are left to develop naturally, offering an undisturbed and permanent resting place for the departed.
Interestingly, due to the simplicity of a woodland funeral, they can be more affordable than having a traditional funeral.
With the cost of funeral fees rising faster than inflation every year, many people will be looking out for cheaper alternatives.
Continue reading to learn more about woodland funerals and how much they cost…
A natural burial at a woodland burial site can be more environmentally friendly than a traditional burial funeral, because:
Traditional British cemeteries are overcrowded
According to a report by the BBC, almost half of England’s cemeteries will run out of space by 2033.
In the City of London and in Greater London, a number of cemeteries have already filled to maximum capacity.
The local authority can’t afford to buy new land whilst maintaining the current cemeteries, so they have started to reuse old graves (as long as a burial hasn’t taken place there for 75 years).
Whilst the burial crisis is going on, it’s likely that more and more natural burial sites will be developed in the UK and woodland burials will become more popular as people want to avoid overcrowded city cemeteries.
A woodland funeral has no set structure or protocol. Generally, they are tailored to suit the needs of the family (or the wishes of their loved one).
Before the funeral
You may visit the woodland burial site before the burial, which is recommended so that you can get a good feel for the area and learn about the facilities available.
A funeral director can help with the process of purchasing a suitable burial plot. After this, arrangements for the funeral can begin.
During the funeral
The coffin (pulled on a wheeled bier or carried by pallbearers) is moved through the woods followed by the congregation to the burial ground.
A funeral service may take place at the graveside before the burial. This can be religious or non-religious.
Some woodland burial sites have a ceremonial building you can use for a more traditional service.
After the funeral
You may hold a wake at a nearby venue, such as the local town hall or pub. Or, you may continue the outdoor theme with a wake at the woodland burial site.
They may have a yurt or gazebo you can use. If not, a simple stroll with family and friends through the woodland may suffice.
Please note: Social distancing rules still apply for all funerals and wakes in the UK. Please visit the government website for the most up-to-date information.
When looking for the right woodland burial site, there are some key considerations.
There are lots of different types of woodland and natural burial grounds, owned or managed by a number of organisations including independent businesses, non-profit charities and local authorities.
If you’re looking for woodland scenery in particular, then you can find a list of these sites on the Woodland Burial Trust website.
Some woodland burial sites are very rural, whilst other sites are located close to an ordinary cemetery.
As mentioned, visiting the area beforehand will help you decide if it’s a suitable resting place for your loved one.
Not all burial sites have an indoor ceremony room you can use before the burial.
With the weather being unpredictable in the UK and depending on the time of year the funeral is taking place, having a place where the ceremony can be held protected from the elements could be essential.
Although, there may be the option to hire a separate building, such as the local town hall, for the day.
Every site will have different rules regarding embalming, coffins, and grave markings, as well as what you can and can’t do whilst you’re there.
For example, some sites are more ‘natural’ than others - where embalming is not permitted at all and coffins must be made from biodegradable materials.
There may be specific rules about the type of memorial or grave marking you can have. Some sites allow a simple wooden or slate plaque placed on a nearby tree or on the ground.
Others will only allow a native tree or wildflowers to be planted. Flowers bought from a shop may be allowed as long as they are left on the ground without any plastic wrapping or ribbon.
Most of the time burial plots are marked out on a map so that family and friends are able to navigate their way there when visiting in the future.
There are 270 woodland and natural burial sites in the UK (and the number is growing).
The Natural Death Centre recommends choosing one that’s registered with The Association of Natural Burial Grounds, which monitors the sites and ensures they are following best practice.
The total cost of a woodland funeral depends on various factors, including which burial site you choose and where it’s located in the UK.
Burial plots and fees for interment (for the burial itself) vary significantly but generally cost from around £1,000.
As one example, Brocklands Woodland Burial site in North Yorkshire charges £480 for a single burial plot plus a £590 interment fee.
(Some burial sites can guarantee today’s pricing for a burial plot if you’re able to purchase in advance).
As with any type of burial funeral, there are additional costs to consider. How much you spend depends on what you decide to include:
If you have specific funeral wishes and want to protect loved ones from the expense, then you may consider a prepaid funeral plan.
A funeral plan allows you to pay for your funeral services in advance and at today’s prices.
It protects loved ones from unexpected funeral costs and mitigates any confusion over your final wishes when the time comes.
To learn more, head to our prepaid funeral plans page or get in touch with a member of our brilliant team.
We’re an award-winning brokerage and our service is completely fee-free.
 SunLife (2021), Cost of Dying Report, sunlife.co.uk/costofdying2021
What is the breakdown cost of a UK funeral? Reassured…
Alternative funerals in the UK include direct cremation and…
Funerals on a budget in the UK. Learn about budget funeral…
No frills funerals are growing in popularity in the UK. But…
There is no law in the UK that states you must have a…
You can have a simple cremation without a funeral service.…
Funeral plans under 50 are available with some providers…
Cheap funeral plans arranged through Reassured offer you…
With funeral costs in the UK spiralling, what's the best…
What are the top 10 funeral plans? Which is the best…
Should you choose a prepaid funeral plan to protect your…
Cremation only funeral plans include all the necessary…
At Reassured, we will provide you with quotes from Co-op Funeral Care.
All of the funeral plans we provide are fully regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) ensuring you and your money are protected.
Yes very pleased with my choice very helpful easy to understand and very pleasant transaction all good!Mrs M Rushworth
Very professional and reassuring. Life insurance sorted in about 10 minutes.Stephen Davies
very courteous and friendly. Polite professional and empathic.Stedroy Fenton
Another happy customer I am. They are very professional and kind. Fully communicative. I recommend.Piotr Stepien
Really attentive during the call, good clear guidance throughout. Well done.Michael Reynolds
Amazing service quick fast and easy and Joey was a star on the phone really help me thanks.Sera Woolley
I made the right choice and now I feel relieved that I did.glyn
Really genuine kind and compassionate team with great knowledge and friendly approach highly recommend them!Katelia Merritt
I must say Jake took me through every step and was brilliant, recommend them anytime.Allan Green
Very happy and everything explained well, so glad a took the time to take the call, normally I would say I'm busy. But compared to other company's we save so much more money.Jenny Berry