The Willows Natural Burial Ground
The Willows Natural Burial Ground is a picturesque site in the village of South Croxton, Leicestershire, making it an ideal setting for a green funeral.
Open in June 2011, the natural burial ground is run by husband-wife duo who are passionate about creating a place of natural beauty that can evolve into a peaceful space and natural burial site. The tranquil woodland burial site is covered with woodland meadows and wildflowers and overlooks nearby ponds which are home to fish, insects and small animals.
The site offers single or multiple natural burial plots, and allows the interment of ashes across the wildflower and woodland meadows. Ashes can scattered at designated areas of the grounds. Adjacent plots are available for families, but are not guaranteed.
The team at Willows would like to give every family a dignified and personalised funeral that reflects their own wishes. Members of all faiths and beliefs are welcome and the funeral ceremony can be as elaborate or simple as the family chooses. While some families choose to have a private graveside funeral, others may have a wake or memorial service at another location before or after the burial.
The site is happy to work with the family alongside their funeral director. Coffins, urns and shrouds need to be environmentally friendly and must be made of natural materials such as banana leaf, cardboard or willow.
Traditional wooden coffins are permitted but only if they are made from sustainable wood. They should also be free from artificial linings and plastic. Floral tributes (free from any sort of packaging or plastic) will be allowed at the grave for a reasonable time. Personal belongings may be buried along with them as long as they are made from natural materials.
Families can help the site’s professional grave digger to dig their loved one’s grave, if they wish.
Local trees such as ash, birch, hazel and oak can be planted to honour the memory of the person who has died, and wooden memorial plaques or posts can be erected to mark the grave. The plaques are available in different sizes and can be engraved with a picture or a few lines of a remembrance. You can also purchase a bench as a memorial tribute.
Parking is available for the hearse, with limited number of other spaces available for other vehicles.
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A guide to woodland burials
For more information about woodland burials, advice on how to find a natural burial ground and guidance on costs, read our helpful guide to Woodland Burials and Green Funerals.