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Woodland Burial Area

The Woodland Burial ground at Penrith Cemetery was established in 2005 and is located at the northern part of the cemetery.  The area is adjacent to existing mature trees, with spectacular views over the Lakeland fells.

Cuckoo Flower - Cardamine pratensisThe Woodland Burial ground at Alston Cemetery was established in March 2016 and 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

More trees will eventually be planted as the burial area is filled, and spaced out rather than on individual graves. This will avoid the need to thin the trees out as they mature. Grounds maintenance will be kept 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, it is requested that non-biodegradable fixtures and fittings are kept to an absolute minimum.

Grave design

The position of each woodland grave has been carefully recorded on a plan and each one will be marked with a detectable underground peg. This will incorporate a unique microchip identification number which will be used to locate the grave when necessary, but it should be noted that it will eventually 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 fifty years, the same as the lawn area of the cemetery.

Cremated remains (ashes) may be interred in a purchased full grave or half grave space. There are a limited number of half grave spaces available. Plastic containers will not be allowed for the interment of cremated remains.

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


The placing of memorials on grave spaces is not permitted. 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. The placing of flowers and wreaths will only be permitted for a limited period at the time of the burial.

Memorial plaques may be purchased for placing on the existing nearby Garden of Rest Wall within Penrith Cemetery.

Funeral arrangements

Graves will not be set aside in separate areas for the use of specific religions, faiths, or those with no beliefs. All burials will take place in the same area on a rotational basis.

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.

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