Woodland burial area

Established in 2005, Penrith cemetery woodland burial ground is located at the northern part of the cemetery in an area adjacent to existing mature trees, with spectacular views over the Lakeland fells.

Cuckoo Flower - Cardamine pratensisEstablished in March 2016, Alston cemetery woodland burial ground is located in the southern part of the cemetery. It offers a 'return to nature' for those who would like an alternative to a traditional lawn grave.

Maintaining and developing the area

As more graves fill the burial area, we will eventually plant more trees, which we will space out rather than plant on individual graves. This will avoid the need to thin the trees out as they mature. We will keep grounds maintenance to a minimum to encourage a regeneration of flora and fauna. The traditional appearance of a lawn cemetery will not apply to the woodland burial area.

Coffins and containers

Biodegradable coffins, shrouds or other acceptable containers are preferred for use for burial. If you would like to use a standard chipboard coffin, we request you keep non-biodegradable fixtures and fittings to an absolute minimum.

Grave design

We carefully record the position of each woodland grave on a plan and mark each grave with a detectable underground marker. The electronic marker will incorporate a unique microchip identification number. We can use the number to locate the grave when necessary, although eventually the underground marker will be amongst the undergrowth of woodland.

Each grave will be for one full burial only and, as with all graves in the cemetery, a Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial may be purchased (along with that of adjacent graves) if required. The 'Exclusive Right of Burial' will be for a period of 100 years, the same as the lawn area of the cemetery.

We use purchased full grave or half grave spaces for interring cremated remains (ashes). There are a limited number of half grave spaces available. We do not allow the use of plastic containers for interring cremated remains.

Ashes may also be scattered within a purchased burial plot or in the Garden of Rest area.


You can purchase a memorial plaque, which we will place on the existing nearby Garden of Rest Wall within Penrith cemetery. We do not permit the placing of memorials on woodland grave spaces.

We permit the placing of flowers and wreaths on a grave at the time of the burial, for a limited period. Upon request, families and friends may plant native flowers and bulbs on a grave space, for example, Primroses, Violets, Wood Anemones and Celandines, which are in keeping with a woodland setting.

Funeral arrangements

Within the woodland burial area, there are no separate areas that we use for specific religions, faiths or those with no beliefs and we will not set any aside.

The families or executors of the deceased may choose to use the services of a funeral director or make the funeral arrangements themselves.

Creation of a woodland burial area will provide environmental benefits for future generations and nature will take care of the grave areas.

Last updated: Tuesday, 20 June, 2023.