Green burials

A green burial site has been set-up at Kirkley Cemetery in Lowestoft so that those who desire can lay their loved ones to rest in an ecologically friendly way and in an area that will develop into a pleasant and natural meadow/woodland.

The site includes three areas. The majority of the site is for full burials. There is a smaller area for the burial of cremated remains and there is also an area where ashes can be scattered.

No memorial stones, vases or other markers will be placed on any of the burial plots in this site, as it is intended that the whole area of meadow/woodland will become the lasting memorial to those whose remains are buried or scattered there. However, a large plaque, near the main entrance, will be inscribed with their names. Near to the plaque is an area designated for the placing of floral tributes. The Council will manage this area and remove fading tributes on a regular basis.

Details of all burials will be recorded by the council (as required by law) and a deed of exclusive rights of interment will be issued to the families involved.

After burials have taken place in an area, and in the appropriate season, the area will be landscaped in sympathy with nature. Thereafter it will be maintained with the intention of providing an area for quiet reflection that will develop into a habitat giving food and shelter for local wildlife. Grass cutting will take place less frequently than in traditional cemeteries to encourage the establishment of wild flowers.

It is important that families make themselves fully aware of the conditions before they decide to have the remains of a loved one placed in the green burial site.

Some of the main points to bear in mind are: 

  • Only one person may be buried in each grave plot, although both grave and ashes plots can be re-opened for future ashes interments
  • All coffins, urns and caskets must be of a biodegradable material
  • Grave plots cannot be pre-purchased but it is planned that the council will provide adequate space for future green burials.
  • The Council will allocate grave spaces on a next available plot basis
  • No memorial, or marker, or other ornamentation can be placed on any of the burial plots
  • In order to maintain the natural look of the area, cut flowers will not be allowed on the individual plots. All floral tributes must be placed in the designated area

The charges made by the council for green burials include the purchase of the exclusive rights of burial (currently 25 years), the burial charges, associated administration including burial records, the cost of engraving names on the large plaque plus a contribution towards landscaping and ongoing maintenance.

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