The site at Barton is the first consecrated one of its kind

The South Glebe totals about 19 acres, and with the neighbouring piece of land the North Glebe acquired in 2009, the site is almost 40 acres in total. The new phase was planted in the winter of 2009/10, and whilst Cambridgeshire is not renowned for its hills, the top of the North Glebe does reach 45 metres above sea level.

In the South Glebe, nearly 10,000 trees have been planted since 2000, all of them of species indigenous to the local area. They include oak, ash, lime, wild service, wild cherry, silver birch, holly willow and others.  All have been planted in a scheme designed by our Forestry Commission advisor. For a map of the burial ground, click here.

A further 10,500 trees were planted in the North Glebe, in a similar glade scheme. This new planting includes more of the original species above, as well as barberry, whitebeam, yew and alder trees, which are also indigenous to the area.

So how does it all work?

Burials at Barton take place in the glades surrounded by trees, the graves ultimately becoming part of that glade or meadow in time, with the surrounding trees creating a living memorial to those who lie there. This means that there are no headstones or statues, and nothing that will be left to fall into disrepair as time goes on. Trees are not planted with each grave, but it can be important for families to mark grave. Simple wooden markers, which may bear a simple inscription, may be placed flat on the ground (for details of permitted size, please see FAQ’s). Ultimately, these will biodegrade and disappear. Graves are all recorded so locations can be pinpointed.

As Barton is a fully consecrated site, ashes must be buried rather than scattered but there is much more location choice. Ashes may go amongst the trees or around the periphery, or along the quieter tracks and footpaths of the South Glebe. Please contact staff for more information on interment of cremated remains

Wild flowers may also be planted, but must be native to the woodland. There is a leaflet available for guidance. See our Permitted Plants page for more.

The main ride and access tracks are mown two or three times a year. The glades themselves are mown completely only once, usually done as late in September as possible. For details on our maintenance programme, see the Ground Maintenance page.

Can I make a reservation for the future?

We are encouraged to see people thinking ahead, actively planning and making known their wish for a natural burial. Reservations can be made at any time, and more and more people are choosing to do this. See the Costs page for more information. A future reservation guarantees that there will be a grave space somewhere. The only exception to this is where an adjacent space is reserved for a spouse or partner at the time a loved one is buried. Double depth graves are permitted. For a reservation form, see our Forms page.

All burials at the Trust must be with biodegradable coffins, of which there are now a considerable number available. They range from willow and bamboo, cardboard and wool to the more traditional-looking wooden coffins, and even eco-pods. We do stress that coffins should be entirely bio-degradable; without brass handles or plaques. All Funeral Directors should have good knowledge of the options available (many now being commonly used), and a simple internet search will also yield a good return of information. Of course it is also possible to be buried in a simple shroud, although the use of a base board of appropriate material is encouraged for reasons of dignity.

For other details, see FAQ’s. If you can't find an answer to a question there, staff will be happy to talk through the various options with you at any time. Please get in touch with a member of staff on our Contact page.

 
 A photo of our lovely original gates that disappeared long ago!

A photo of our lovely original gates that disappeared long ago!

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