A Woodland Burial – Make me not a burden for the earth

 In Article

Earlier in the year Attwood Funerals had the honour of conducting a woodland burial at Westhope Natural Burial Ground. Westhope is close to Craven Arms and Ludlow, it has won many awards and is such a magical place I even have a space there myself when the time comes. There is a beautiful chapel which has electricity, heating, a compost loo and a tiny kitchen. We always light the candles for every service we conduct there and we arrive armed with coffee and tea for any long distance travellers who may need sustenance before the service begins.

Our most recent visit was for the burial of an artist. The chapel was full, family and friends had travelled from as far away as Germany, London, Stourbridge, and Wales. At Westhope there are no time constraints so we were able to have a leisurely ceremony with several people speaking from the floor, some from the balcony.




One of the friends of the deceased wrote a poem which is so apt entiled

Elegy for a Green Burial

When I am dead

Make me not a burden for the earth,

But coppice me in willow weave,

And spare your precious oaks.

Let me not pollute the air

With heat and noxious gases,

Nor carve me a granite stone

That takes the place of grasses.

Yield my soul to the border lands

Of scudding clouds and squinting sun,

Then meadow me in a flowery mead

For my toil and sweat is done.

Shroud me in a field of hay

Beneath the uplands crown,

So I can nurture grass to grow

Remote from any town.

But more than that when I am dead

Remember what I said:

Make me not a burden for the earth.


Owen Williams


Attwood Funerals is a member of the Association of Green Funeral Directors. We try very hard to ensure our working practices and our funerals are the most eco-friendly you can find. We can supply cardboard or handmade willow coffins, we can hire in an electric hearse, we do not routinely embalm and we can help you with locally grown flowers. We can also advise on local amenities for natural and eco-friendly burial. At our premises we use energy saving air source heat pumps and we keep our plastic use to an absolute minimum.