Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

It's Your Funeral: The Eco Burial Movement Gathers Ground

Date:
March 9, 2009
Source:
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Summary:
Natural burial is often thought of as a green option that takes place in the countryside for non-religious people, but according to researchers, that is only part of the story.

Natural burial is often thought of as a green option that takes place in the countryside for non-religious people, but according to researchers at the University of Sheffield, that is only part of the story.

"Lots of different approaches to natural burial have evolved since 1993 when the first site was opened," explains Mr Andy Clayden, who is leading the research team, which includes Professor Jenny Hockey and Dr Trish Green, "they cater for people who want a more informal setting in keeping with the person they want to remember. There is no conflict with faith."

The topic is to be discussed at an event on Natural Burial: Do we need a Headstone? to be held in Sheffield on March 14 as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Festival of Social Science.

There are now over 200 natural burial grounds across the UK ranging from extensions to local authority cemeteries to sites owned by charitable trusts or private individuals. The project, which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, is looking at the range of services on offer and the wider impact of natural burial both on the people involved and the landscape. The researchers have already visited 20 sites and are continuing to interview managers, bereaved people, funeral professionals and members of the local community. They will also be conducting an in-depth study of four sites with different interpretations of what natural burial means.

Early findings suggest that natural burial is attractive to people who want to construct their own way of remembering a relative. Natural burial grounds vary tremendously in terms of the habitats they are trying to create or protect.  For example some sites offer a specific guidance on what trees or wildflower seeds can be planted whilst other burial grounds may have a more relaxed and permissive approach.  There are sites where the dead are almost completely anonymous; the field may be cut for hay or grazed by sheep.

"People have told us they like to visit sites where they can hear the birds or a stream in a wild life habitat," says Andy Clayden. "Some people are put off by the formality of cemeteries and are uncomfortable with the conventions and rules involved in conventional burials. As well as catering for very individual ways of memorialising some sites have created new ways of bringing the bereaved community together at the burial ground.  Examples include a Christmas carol service and candle-lit procession and a summer garden fκte with live music."

The research suggests that the farmers and their families who offer land for burials are very enthusiastic about the new movement. "Some of them live in remote upland areas and they find that by providing burial space they have a new role which requires them to ‘open their door’ to a new community whom they welcome onto and into their land. Many of them remain a point of contact with the bereaved," says Andy Clayden.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). "It's Your Funeral: The Eco Burial Movement Gathers Ground." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309104712.htm>.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). (2009, March 9). It's Your Funeral: The Eco Burial Movement Gathers Ground. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309104712.htm
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). "It's Your Funeral: The Eco Burial Movement Gathers Ground." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309104712.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) — New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) — A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) — A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) — As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins