Natural burial ground planned for Sheffield’s Green Belt

A natural burial ground with bio-degradable coffins could be created in Sheffield’s Green Belt.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 2:04 pm
A natural burial ground could be created in Stannington

Agricultural land off Riggs High Road at Stannington could become the final resting place for people who would like to be buried or have their ashes scattered in the countryside.

Natural burial grounds are still relatively new with just 19 across the UK but farmers are looking at them as a way to diversify.

They are different from traditional burial grounds as people are laid to rest in bio-degradable coffins without the use of embalming chemicals and often without traditional headstones.  

Simon Elliott Associates says in a planning application: “The applicant has been in consultation for a while about the potential to use the site as a natural or woodland burial ground as an alternative to the more traditional burial grounds and crematoria in the city.  

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“The concept of the natural or woodland burial ground is not new and it has been seen as an acceptable form of diversification to a number of farms across the country with 19 farmers in the UK operating this as a diversification in April 2018.  

“Sites are often formed in unspoilt meadows and can form part of a new woodland through the planting of memorial trees, hence the term woodland burial grounds.

“The site can also be used as a memorial ground for cremated remains and in this particular case it is proposed to allow only small and low level memorial stones to mark the location of a grave or the interment of cremated remains.  

“A maximum size for these and height above ground can be agreed and an appropriate condition imposed on a planning permission.  

“In terms of the operation of the burial ground, this will need to be carried out in accordance with current laws and an accurate site layout will need to be produced to record the exact location of each grave for record keeping purposes.”

Mr Elliott says the site is not expected to attract a significant number of people.