Where can you be buried in the UK? The answer to this question is not what many people believe. There is no law to state you must be buried in a designated graveyard. Home burials, eco burials, burials at sea, and Viking burials are all viable and legal options. Freaky to some, being buried in your own back yard is legal. You can dig a grave almost anywhere you choose, as long as you abide with the laws surrounding burials.
A classic example of a home burial is that of the late Barbara Cartland in 2000. She chose to be buried in her own back yard, next to her favourite tree. She was just days short of her 99th birthday, and was not a believer in convention or tradition, neither in her novels nor in real life. Her coffin was made of cardboard. Contrary to the popular belief of many, coffins do not need to be made of wood, nor do they need to be purchased from a funeral director. You can be buried in whatever coffin you want, many people choosing to make their own coffins before they pass away.
Burial on private is far more common than many people think. As long as you own your own garden and it is not owned by the council or a private owner from whom you rent the land, you can be buried in your garden with no problems at all. You do not even need to seek planning permission to dig the grave. You may have to seek planning permission from the local council if you intend to erect a permanent headstone by the grave.
If you wish to be buried in your own garden, or wish to bury a loved one in the family garden, you will need to fill in an authorisation for the purpose. Decomposing corpses can pose a health risk to the living, so there are some rules you need to abide by. For example, the body must be at least 50 metres from a drinking water source, and it must be deep enough to ensure that foxes or other animals do not try to unearth the corpse. The burial must registered and added to the deeds of your property.
If you are in search of an eco-burial option, but do not have sufficient private land yourself, you can ask permission to be buried in any private land. Judging by the fact that the body has to be at least 50 metres from drinking water sources, being buried in your own garden is only possible for those who own country estates or homes with very large gardens. When choosing to be buried on other private property, it is normally necessary that the landowner applies for a “change of use” for his or her property.
Woodland burial sites have also become very popular in recent times, as have sea burials and Viking burials. Cremation on the other hand is losing popularity, as it pollutes the air and is no longer seen as a kind way in which to dispose of a body. With so many options available, and eco funerals increasing in popularity, no one nowadays needs to feel the pressure to be buried in a wooden casket in a traditional graveyard.