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Green burials

Hawkinge cemetery has a special green area, set aside for more environmentally-friendly, natural burials. Using natural materials allows the burial to benefit the environment by enhancing the natural flora and fauna in the area

How it works

Graves, burials, and maintenance

Graves are allocated at the time of interment meaning there aren't any reserved plots and are single depth to encourage the natural decomposition process. Graves are for a single interment and aren't re-opened or exhumed (except if required by law) so that plants can establish and flourish.

Once the ground has settled following an interment, grass, wildflower seeds, and natural bulbs are sown around the graves and trees in the area. Grass cutting is minimal and pesticides and weedkiller are discouraged.

There are no memorials on the graves, but a native species tree or shrub is planted as a living memorial for every grave dug. 

Floral tributes (without wrapping attached) are allowed on graves for up to 7 days after interment.

Coffins

Coffins and their fixtures and fittings must be made of a biodegradable material, for example:

  • cardboard;
  • standard chipboard;
  • wicker; or,
  • wood from managed forests or renewable sources.

Coffins are microchipped for identification purposes.

Embalming

While not encouraged, this will be acceptable if carried out using natural substances.

How much it costs

For fees information, click here.

The fee goes towards meadow development and the planting of new trees.

Forms

Download, complete, and return the form at the end of the guidance document available below.

Hawkinge green burials form
Description
Icon for pdf Guidance for Hawkinge green burials [1.26MB]

When it comes to future use of your green grave plot, you'll need to complete a notice of interment, returning it to the address on the form at least 3 working days before the interment date.

Icon for pdf Notice of interment: Green area [719.42KB]

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