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The Woodland Burial Scheme at Gornal Wood Cemetery offers an alternative to burial in traditional cemetery sections where headstones are erected on lawned graves. Woodland graves provide a living memorial in an area attractive to wildlife including wild flowers, birds and small mammals. This web page sets out to explain how the scheme will be managed and to clarify the advantages and disadvantages.


The Woodland burial area is situated in Gornal Wood Cemetery next to a copse forming part of the crematorium Garden of Remembrance.


Each grave will be planted with a sapling, selected to create a suitable extension to the existing copse. Tree species will be predominately Hawthorn, Birch, hazel and mountain Ash. Trees will be selected and planted by cemetery staff at the appropriate time of the year and after the soil has settled. Native bulbs will then be planted in the graves. Some thinning of trees may be necessary in future years to ensure healthy growth.


Maintenance will be determined by the growth requirements of the trees and bulbs. The use of herbicides will be kept to a minimum and it is important to note at times, the area will appear less tidy than nearby lawned graves.


Each grave will accept one coffin but, at the time of the interment, an adjacent grave may be reserved for future use, the grave is dug to a depth, which ensures that no disturbance is caused to the coffin when planting saplings. A metal disc is set below the soil surface to ensure accuracy when locating graves in future.


Biodegradable coffins are preferred to the standard veneered woodchip coffins, which are commonly used for burial, however either type of container will be accepted.


In order to establish the woodland it is necessary to impose certain restrictions, which will avoid the trampling of vegetation and wildlife habitat. No memorials of flower containers are permitted on these graves, but an inscription may be purchased in the Book of Remembrance, which is housed close to the burial area. Floral tributes may be placed in the flower room to the rear of the Garden of Remembrance.

The woodland burial scheme may appeal to those who wish to protect and enhance the environment and who do not require a lawned surface or an inscribed memorial on the grave.

Local Funeral Directors are also aware of this woodland scheme.

If you would like further details or advice about this scheme, or you would like to reserve a woodland plot please contact us using the details below.

  • General Contact Form

    Telephone: 01384 813970
    Opening Hours Gornal Wood Office:

    • Monday to Friday 09:00am to 4:30pm.
    • Please note offices are closed weekends and Bank Holidays.