When a person opts for burial after their death, in the vast majority of cases they will be laid to rest in a designated churchyard or cemetery. However, for some people, a burial closer to home seems like the most personal and desirable choice. It is usually possible for a loved one to be buried in your private garden, as long as certain rules and regulations are followed.
Firstly, the death must be officially registered along with a valid death certificate. The next step is then to seek the permission of local authorities and the land owner, if that is not yourself. Once permission is granted, you may choose to dig the grave yourself, or ask professionals to take care of the task. It is not legally required to use a coffin, but depending on your location there may be regulations about the depth of the grave. It is also important to make sure the soil conditions are appropriate, and that the land is not too sandy, boggy or rocky.
When a person is buried in your garden, it is legally required that you adhere to the laws outlined in the Control of Pollution Act 1974, as well as the Environment Protection Act 1990. As part of this, the burial site should not be within 10 metres of a water supply, whether standing or running, or in any position where it could pollute a body of water. You will also need to add the details of the burial location to the deeds of your property.
Many people have concerns about safety and hygiene when it comes to burying a relative on their land, but once they are interred, the site is perfectly safe and you have nothing to worry about. However, it is important to consider what will happen if you ever decide to sell the property. The chances are that you will be reluctant to move away and leave your loved one’s burial site behind, and it can also make it much more difficult to find people who are willing to buy the property, so this is a matter which needs careful thought before you commit to a garden burial.
One of the best things about having a burial on private land is the fact that you are free to install any kind of memorial you wish for without having to worry about adhering to cemetery rules. You can select your ideal kerb sets, headstones, plaques and other memorials to mark the grave site perfectly.