The philosophy of the natural woodland burial areas in Maldon and Burnham-on-Crouch, is entirely aimed at the development of an ecological environment creating a tranquil and peaceful resting place.
With natural awareness of the organic benefits that come from the two areas of woodlands, aspects such as the natural grasses, wild flowers and trees make a beautiful setting for the perfect spot to visit and reminisce a loved one.
Woodland Glades has been open since 1996 in Maldon and therefore has over 20 years of developing and maturing wildlife. The two sections that make up the Glades differ in the amount of established wildlife and nature currently involved. The second section is slightly newer and therefore still being nurtured by the parks team. You should be able to picture the long-term outcome when looking at the first section and with a tree or shrub planted for every burial, the glade is continually growing. The type of trees planted depends on the overall ecological development plan, but our parks team are always on hand for guidance when choosing an indigenous tree or shrub.
Burnham Glade is also in its infantile stage of maturity but as the burials increase so will the wildlife. It is already home to a number of wild flowers and plants alongside an abundant selection of small wildlife.
As we go through the different seasons, the Woodlands change in their character. Winter the planting of new trees, bulbs, and shrubs; spring, the bulbs and shoots appear; summer the woodlands flourish and in the autumn, we see the divine autumnal colours.
Guidelines of the Glade
Only single depth burials are permitted in the Woodland Glades (unlike the double depth traditional graves). This allows a more consistent growth, meaning the areas can begin to flourish straight after the burial has taken place without interrupting the section in the future.
Ashes can either be interred or scattered in this area of the cemetery. An ashes plot can be used for two sets of ashes. A burial grave can also be re-opened for the burial of ashes.
Burials can only take place using bio-degradable materials such as natural wood or wood composites without coatings or artificial veneers. Cardboard, wickerwork, shrouds and other natural materials are accepted.
There are no memorials permitted on the graves themselves but there are plaques on the memorial wall or on wooden plinths on the perimeters and along paths next to trees in the natural burial area. Plinths are available for up to 3 years after which the bronze plaque will be placed on the memorial wall.
Please see our cemetery and memorial fees for more information.
All plots are marked by a concrete ‘numeral’ embedded in the ground which disappears from sight in the spring and summer when the grasses grow. These markers correspond to our plans and records.
Please take note of other services we also offer, such as our on-site chapel, when looking to plan a funeral.
Day of Dedication
For every burial that takes place in the Woodland Glades throughout the year, an indigenous tree is planted at an annual tree planting ceremony, held to commemorate lost loved ones.
Included in the purchase of an Exclusive Right of Burial in the Woodland Glades is a memorial tree. This will be an indigenous tree or shrub that can be chosen by the family, or an Officer on the family’s behalf, to be planted on the grave of a lost loved one. There is also a selection of native bulbs to be planted, our Parks Team have planting equipment but please feel free to also bring your own.
The ceremony itself is held on a winter morning with the assistance of our in-house Parks Team as well as a blessing from our local Cannon. Invites are sent out in the autumn to all holders of Exclusive Right of Burials for the plots. There are always refreshments available to keep you warm and please remember to bring your wellies!