Terms and Conditions regarding the management of the burial ground.
The following regulations are made to enable us to shape and preserve a natural area for the benefit of nature and for future generation of visitors. They are essential to combine a proper respect for the dead with a suitable management and planting programme in order to create an area that is peaceful, pleasant and ecologically rich, and to evolve into a fitting memorial to those buried here.
The trustees ask sincerely that all visitors treat the burial ground with care and respect so that it may become a place for quiet, personal reflection.
These regulations apply to the cemetery described in this website, and known as Markfield Natural Burial Ground and Nature Reserve.
General Care and Behaviour
No seed may be scattered on the burial ground unless obtained through us. Many seeds sold commercially as wildflower or woodland mixtures have inappropriate species or hybrids within them or come from abroad.
No ornaments, toys, photographs or other memorials may be placed upon graves, with the exception of the black granite, engraved plaques provided by us.
Picking of flowers or shrubs or the unauthorised planting of any flowers or shrubs is prohibited because it will prevent the regeneration of a natural landscape. Non-native species will be removed. Construction or maintenance of flower beds is not permitted and no soil, peat or compost may be imported to the site.
No naturally germinated seedlings apart from bramble, thistle, nettle and ragwort may be removed from plots. Visitors should take appropriate measures to prevent injury or poisoning from plants.
All visitors shall behave in a law abiding and appropriate manner.
Mobile phones should be turned to silent. No amplified music should be played except during funeral services.
Children must be supervised at all times. There are several water features on the site which are deep and have slippery edges.
Dogs must be kept on leads at all times. This is especially important as we are encouraging rare ground nesting birds to breed here. The burial ground is criss-crossed by a network of permanent pathways. Some species are very sensitive to disturbance, please use the paths at all times.
Litter bins are not provided as we expect visitors to take their litter home, this includes any inappropriate plastic wrapping or fixings to floral tributes that extended family or friends may have unwittingly left on graves.
No grazing animals are allowed unless introduced by the management for conservation purposes. No shooting or hunting is permitted.
The burial ground is being redeveloped to encourage a natural landscape therefore the erection of any monuments, markers, crosses, kerbs, fences or railings will not be permitted. This was a condition when gaining our planning permission. However, we do offer the installation of laid-flat black granite, engraved plaques. There is more detail on the "Planning a Funeral" page of this website. These must be supplied by us.
We have an on-going programme of installing bird and bat boxes - please do not bring your own. If you wish to buy one from us and have it installed, please ask.
Vases sunk discreetly into the soil can drown small animals and will be removed.
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. Trees planted as living memorials are guaranteed for 10 years. Should a tree die during that period, it will be replaced. After that time, the woodland will begin to develop naturally, with some trees growing more vigorously than others. For this reason, we encourage the understanding that the woodland as a whole is the lasting memorial.
Only loose cut flowers should be placed on the graves. No plastic packaging should be left and bunches of flowers may not be tied to trees or guards. Nor can any decorative items be hung from trees. Flowers left will be removed after an appropriate and respectful period.
The burial ground is not managed as manicured parkland. It is meadow land, and has an uneven and unpredictable surface with trip hazards. Please bear this in mind when visiting, especially when accompanying the disabled or infirm. In order to provide for a more natural environment, the site will be mowed at our discretion outside the growing season. Paths will be mowed on a more regular basis allowing visitors access to the various burial areas within the site.
Terms and Conditions Regarding the Funerals.
Bodies should be not be embalmed, sometimes called hygienic treatment. Good funeral directors will have refrigerated facilities and this process is not necessary or required by law even if you wish to visit or view the deceased.
The minimum length of notice to be given where a full grave is to be excavated is 96 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Burials and cremations cannot take place at the site until the death has been legally registered and the appropriate documentation received.
Burials can not take place until all payments due have been received. Please see the Prices page for details of how to pay.
All coffins, caskets and urns and their linings should be sustainably produced from natural, biodegradable materials. These coffins and shrouds are quite mainstream these days and all good funeral directors can source them. See our "Planning a Funeral" page for more detail about acceptable materials.
No grave goods should be buried that will release toxins into the soil, batteries for example.
The body should be clothed in natural fibres and wrapped in degradable cloth.
We appreciate that sometimes situations change. If you move far away or emigrate we will refund the original purchase price minus an administration charge, currently £100 pounds. If you change your mind, there is a 28 day cooling off period. Rights of burial may be sold to a new owner. Simply inform us if you have sold or given the rights away and we can update our records. New owners must sign the Terms and Conditions.
Updates to these regulations.
We reserve the right to amend, add, remove or change the content of these regulations over time, as circumstances dictate.