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Eco signage for Woodland Burial Areas in Eden Cemeteries

New signage made from recycled materials are now in place at Alston and Penrith Cemeteries to denote the woodland burial grounds available there.

Eco signs for Alston Cemetery Woodland Burial areaSince 2005 Eden District Council cemeteries have been accredited with the Charter for the Bereaved and as part of our commitment to this, woodland burials are now available as an alternative to a traditional lawn grave. This allows the choice of a return to nature for people who prefer a more environmentally sensitive option. Penrith Cemetery has a well-established woodland burial area, this was created in 2005 and so far over 50 woodland burials have taken place.

 In March 2016, a woodland burial area was established at the southern part of Alston Cemetery, as this was a service the Cemetery's Friends Group was keen to introduce.

Eden District Councillor, Pat Godwin who is a member of the Friends of Alston Cemetery, said: "We are delighted with the look of the new signage and the fact that they are made from recycled materials is very appropriate. The woodland burial area at Alston has been available since March 2016 and is already attracting interest from people who are looking for an alternative to a traditional burial.

"The Friends Group is working with Eden District Council’s Cemetery staff to introduce a planting programme for the woodland burial area to introduce wild flowers and bulbs. This work will take a period of time, but we look forward to establishing a wild flower green space, which will help contribute towards maintaining the cemetery’s Green Flag status in years to come."

The grave spaces in Eden District Council’s woodland burial areas are open to all faiths, religions and non-believers. No designated areas are provided for specific faiths or religions within them. It is preferred that biodegradable coffins, shrouds or acceptable containers are used for burials in the woodland areas.

The placement of memorials is not permitted in woodland burial areas at Penrith and Alston Cemeteries, this is to reduce the usage of natural resources such as granite and marble. Once a cluster of graves is established, a tree can be planted to encourage the regeneration of flora and fauna. The cutting of grassed sections of woodland burial areas is kept to a minimum to encourage wildlife.

Eden District Council’s Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Adrian Todd said: "Our officers take great pride in maintaining the Council’s cemeteries by working with our contractors within existing budget levels. We understand how local people value the upkeep of these cemeteries and we are always striving to work with local communities to address their needs."

Eden District Council maintains the following cemeteries:

  • Appleby
  • Alston
  • Garrigill
  • Nenthead
  • Penrith

Information and advice about woodland burials can be found on the Council’s website or by contacting the Council’s Bereavement Services Team by telephoning 01768 212251 or email: