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Burials on private property

In England there is no law prohibiting burial on private land. Cemeteries require planning permission but a place of burial without fences or gravestones is not a cemetery in planning law.

Before burying a deceased person on private land you should consider the following;

1. Check there is no covenant on the land that could prohibit a burial

2. Ensure there are no local byelaws preventing the burial

3. A record must be placed on the deeds of the land to record details of the burial

4. Requests to move or exhume the body at a later date are made to the Home Office and may or may not be granted 

5. The site should be more than 30m from any spring or any other body of water. It should also be 10m from any dry ditch or field drain.

6. The site should be at least 50m from any well, borehole or spring. You can contact the Environment agency to find out if there is one near your chosen site.

7. Stay clear of water, gas and electrical services.

8. There should be at least 1m of soil above the lid of the coffin.

The The Natural Death Centre  provides independent funeral advice.

Last modified: 19 April 2013