Bereaved families may soon be able to choose a natural burial for their loved one, if proposals are approved by the Cabinet.
Woodland burial is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional interments and cremations and it is growing in popularity in the UK.
A small section of Booth Burial Ground in Luddenden has been identified which could be designated as an area where woodland or natural burials can take place.
The land is currently unused and has capacity for around 180 burial plots. These can be used as single or double plots depending on family wishes, with a maximum of four burials in a single plot.
Andrew Pitts, Calderdale Council’s Assistant Director for Neighbourhoods said:
“We want to offer a range of burial options so people are able to choose a burial service which is appropriate for their loved one and which reflects their values and beliefs.
“Keeping burial land in a natural state reduces the impact on the environment and will support biodiversity, allowing local wildlife to flourish.”
Green or natural burials do not usually include the embalming process, as the chemicals used may pollute the ground.
The coffins are often biodegradable, made from cardboard or recycled paper, wicker, banana leaf, bamboo or willow, and are designed to decompose easily. Alternatively a cotton shroud can be used instead of a coffin.
Natural burials are not marked with a headstone; instead they are identified by a tree or flowers. They are intended to look as close to a natural meadow or woodland as possible.
Shrubs and bushes would be planted to provide privacy and create natural screening and access to the site would also be improved.
The proposals will be discussed at the next Cabinet meeting, which will start at 6pm on Monday 2 December 2019 at Halifax Town Hall.