I work for Woodland Burials, we are an environmentally and green company who provide alternative burials for your earthly remains. We are not affiliated with any one religion and therefore welcome everyone from all walks of life. Due to this freedom from social restraints, we have seen some random celebrations of life and are happy to share stories.

We operate several burial grounds across the UK, and for each burial we plant and nurture a tree of your choice. Hoping to create an array of protected woodland for future generations to enjoy, our scheme has been approved by the Wildlife Trust. We set aside a sum of money from every plot sold, placing it in a trust fund for when the woodland is complete, that money is then used to continue maintaining the site and making it a nice and interesting place to be.

We have been operating for close to 20 years being the first of its kind in the UK and therefore have some interesting stories to tell!

Due to time differences and what not, this AMA will be active for several days, we are pretty busy (there's only three of us in the company so please bare with us for the slower responses, however everyone has a chance to ask questions and we will answer everyone of you.

Hey Guys! Thanks for The AMA, it was really good fun! Just a quick edit to say... I got a tad mistaken, we are aligned with the WILDLIFE trust not the Woodland Trust. MY BAD!

*Proof on our Facebook Page * www.facebook.com/woodlandburials

Our Website www.woodlandburials.co.uk

For any enquiries not related to our AMA please email me at [email protected]

without further Ado Ask Away!

Comments: 620 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

stareattheart362 karma

Can I be buried as a walnut?

I've heard that walnuts tend to kill surrounding trees. So I want to be a spiteful arsehole in the afterlife as well.

WoodlandBurials167 karma

I'll allow it ;)

texas_pride243 karma

When Ifirst heard of your company, my first thought was that the concept was ingenious. My second thought was that should my ashes be used for a tree, I would have mornimg wood for the rest of my life. With that in mind, can I choose the type of tree I want to be? As a native Texan, pecans and mesquite are my native woods. I'm afraid that if I pick pine, the ladies may not think my constitution was very strong. Besides, I smoke meat as a hobby. I want those who knew me, to acknowledge to others that it was my wood gave my meat flavor.

WoodlandBurials174 karma

You, I like you.

We take full Interments and Ashes for anyone wondering, so you don't have to be cremated to enjoy our woodlands of remembrance. And if you want to bring your own type of tree, as long as it doesn't impact the Eco system too much it is possible.

The thing we try the best to do, is to respect everyone's wishes and do what ever it takes to make your rest as peaceful as it can be. We celebrate the life, not mourn the loss.

jdubbles9 karma

I've been saying for a while that when I pass, I'd like for my body to be thrown in the middle of an undisturbed forest so that I may become fertilizer and my atoms live on in the trees around my body. I don't even mind if wild life comes and nibbles at me, I'll eventually come out in their stool and become really concentrated fertilizer.

If your business ever comes stateside, I'll be one of your first clients.

WoodlandBurials20 karma

I hope you reserve with us, and not literally drop dead as soon as we open up stateside.

cnot3164 karma

After my consciousness is uploaded to the tree, how do I communicate with my family and friends? Email?

WoodlandBurials364 karma

By hooking up your pony tail to it. Having you seen the avatar documentary?

cnot324 karma

I saw it but I didn't take good notes.

WoodlandBurials40 karma

I advise researching it further

Coastie071161 karma

Were you inspired by, or have you heard of the pequeninos (sorry for the mobile link, I have no standard computer access atm)

In their fictional culture, when they "die" they grow into sentient friendly trees

WoodlandBurials89 karma

No we were not, but that is a beautiful idea. I hope I become a sentient tree in 60 odd years (I'm 20 at the moment)

ezikial2517106 karma

Has to be asked: How haunted are your grounds, on a scale of Scooby-Doo to Evil Dead?

WoodlandBurials127 karma

Scooby doo level

ezikial251768 karma

Follow-up: are there any precautions taken against meddling kids?

WoodlandBurials120 karma

We have a sign saying dogs need to be kept on their leads.

blacklutefisk81 karma

Is this legal in the US? I would want this, but heard it's not possible due to some laws here.

Edit: Clearly, what the OP offers is legal in varying degrees depending on the state (and I encourage him to...branch out). Thanks everyone for the feedback.

WoodlandBurials93 karma

I unfortunately don't know the legalities in the US. However I'm sure it would be possible, as the only real difference theoretically speaking between a standard cemetery and our grounds are that we don't have head stones, we just have trees.

We also make a point on price, in the UK funeral costs have increased dramatically. And we as a company take the approach that no one wants to be a financial burden on their families especially after they die. So, our biggest selling point is that we are a helluva lot cheaper then most places. Our standard plots and digging way in at under a grand, where as other sites and our competition etc. are closer to three.

WizardsMyName46 karma

I'm 24, so hopefully I'm not going to be worrying about this for a while, but if your company is still providing this in 50 years I might well be looking you up!

WoodlandBurials85 karma

I'm not going to hard sell you, however our reservation prices are price guaranteed. There are no hidden charges. Reserve at today's price and that's what you'll pay. I cannot guarantee the prices we charge today in fifty years time. So it is in your best interest, this week I had to honour a plot the company sold for like £90 back in 1995... It was quite funny!

Murgie67 karma

I am Woodland Burials, I feed people to Trees! AMA


WoodlandBurials129 karma

Nomnomnom little Orc

pileofboats54 karma

Not a question but when I first heard of using cremated remains to plant with the seeds of a tree I thought it was a wonderfully beautiful idea and my head filled with amazing scenes of warm spring days in a shaded forest, children playing and the adults having a picnic underneath a tree that is actually their passed love one. It created this beautiful idea of what a cemetery could be. I even thought about starting a kick starter so I could buy some land and start a "memorial forest". So I'm really happy to hear that it's started.

WoodlandBurials67 karma

We call them Woodlands Of Remembrance. But Memorial Forrest is a great name. :)

We don't plant from seems but actual 18 month old Whips, these little mini trees have the best chance of survival in our British climate.

ashw9250 karma

Am I or am I not sitting next to you in a pub? Literally just met this guy, found out his job and started telling him about this AMA turns out it's him. Small world hey?

WoodlandBurials30 karma

Most certainly is true you are indeed sitting next to me in a bar .... crazy fucking world!

-Aphelion-8 karma

This needs waaay more upvotes for visibility.

WoodlandBurials7 karma

I know, I'm trying!

CzarJames36 karma

1: How many of these burials at tree have you done?

2: what is the process?

WoodlandBurials69 karma

We are approaching around 5000 interments at the moment, spread out over our four burial grounds in the Uk

If you reserve a plot, you will be given a certificated receipt. Which hopefully you let your family know about. When you unfortunately die, your relatives will contact your funeral directors or us. We will sort out all the paper work between us and get everything sorted, If you wanted a grave side service we will provide a list of suitable people depending on your belief. You're a Buddhist? No problem I have a suitable Buddhist who can hold a service for you and your family. You're a pagan? Not a problem. You're an atheist? And don't want anything...sure, want some poetry read? No problem. Want a CD player to play some lana del ray? Sure go ahead make me cry a bit.

We take your coffin size, dig a suitable hole. At our grounds, you or your family will of chosen a suitable tree by that point. We provide multiple types. The funeral takes place, you either have a grave side service, or have a service at another venue. This can be whatever you want. We also provide a data disc, that contains your basic information that we can scan using our scanners incase the woodland becomes thickly overgrown and your family wish to find you. And I stress whatever you want. We have had Morris dancers, pagan rituals, Buddhist meditation stuff. You name it, my favourite was the people that brought some kegs of Guinness and just got sloshed.

November through till January is the dormant season for our tree whips, So we hold several events through the winter season to invite family's and relatives to remember their loved ones and plant their trees.

Brostapholes16 karma

Is the person buried in a special kind of coffin for this?

WoodlandBurials40 karma

No, you can have any coffin, casket, box, sheet that you want.

At the moment the most common is a simple hardwood coffin, or the wicker style Seagrass (basket) coffin. However shrouds are also quite common.

In essence you can have what ever you want, I've seen a contingent of Harley Davidson bikers bring their fallen brother to the burial site on his own bike in a side cart, so if you want it and its possible. We will endeavour to make it happen.

EstherHarshom20 karma

... was he just propped up in it? I genuinely can't figure out how that would work.

McBigglesworth8 karma


WoodlandBurials12 karma

It was rather interesting to behold.

og1821 karma

The idea's really nice but i think there is a concern with your policy regarding planting any tree. There is a long list of invasive species of trees, as you probably know, do you abstain from planting these species?
If not, what effect, if any, do you think this'll have on the surrounding nature?
Thank you for your time.

WoodlandBurials40 karma

We only plant indigenous British broad leaf trees.

At the moment they are: Oak, Field Maple, Hornbeam,Hazel,Silver Birch, Black poplar and Wild Service.

Due to the blight effecting Ash, we have stopped providing it and those trees effected have been closely monitored and have been nurtured to try for survival or unfortunately replaced with an other tree type.

X-Fire9516 karma

So you're captain planet right ?

WoodlandBurials23 karma

More like the guy who gets coffee, for the guy who gets coffee for Captain Planet. I use too much petrol to be Cap'n Planet. Think of us as, the everyday guys who don't mind recycling compared to green peace.

AidenR9014 karma

This has always been my death plan. Now i known it's possible I'm all for it.

Is this quite common?

WoodlandBurials28 karma

It's becoming more and more common, I know I'd rather be left in a place like our grounds, over looking the river stour in the south east of England like some bearded viking, then in a morbid and dire old run down cemetery.

Due to our pricing point structure we are becoming more and more common, especially as the grounds have developed massively in the last 15 years. Before we could only try and sell an empty field and have people imagine what it would look like. Now we have a few acres of woodland, that looks like woodland. With benches and parks and areas to have a bit of recreation on them it becomes more of a reality and people appreciate this.

milnetig13 karma

Is there a standard for burial? Head north, feet south?

Is the body placed according to tradition or law?

WoodlandBurials22 karma

It's usually head north feet south, however it doesn't have to be. You can go in, anyway you want.

MoreFlyThanYou37 karma

This is the first time I've not been sexually excited by the phrase "you can go in any way you want."

WoodlandBurials27 karma

...tell me about it

Ezbakeoven113 karma

If I were to perish and be buried in your woodland (which after reading this I want to make sure it's done), is there a way for my grandchildren to come "visit me" 10 years after I'm dead? Like, are the trees marked, or plotted in a way that they could have a picnic under my canopy?

I really dig this idea and I think it is a WAY nicer alternative than a standard graveyard, this completes the full circle of life, turning a deceased person back into nutrition for another life form.

WoodlandBurials29 karma

Of course, We map every single burial that takes place, and each one is given a data tag. A thin metal disk that is programmed with a completely unique 8 digit alpha numerical code. So we can scan each grave with our scanners to find who out who it belongs to, So even if its over grown 100 years down the line, we can still find that metal disk and we can still find who it is in the grave.

Also, for simple identification purposes I laser engrave a thick oak plaque with your name and DOB and DOD much like a headstone, these plaques are placed on your burial mound and look rather nice. They eventually bio degrade and you can either opt for me to laser a new one, or just let it decay.

Ezbakeoven110 karma

Thank you for the reply. I hope to see this catch on somewhere in the US because I really would be interested in a plot reservation. Keep on doing a great and unique thing!

WoodlandBurials2 karma

Thank you :) we try! Please like our Facebook page if you get a chance.

blindrodie9 karma

Do people have their ashes put in the ground so that they can grow into the tree? That's what I would want. Ashes to ashes, dust to, ah...TREE!

WoodlandBurials7 karma

Pretty much :)

Theblackpie8 karma

Do you offer many different tree sorts? And if so what is your "bestseller"

WoodlandBurials16 karma

We provide Oak, Field Maple, Hornbeam, Hazel, Silver Birch, Black Polar and Wild Service.

At the moment Oak is our best seller, as its the most recognisable and unfortunately our clients often have very few family or have died in a hospice or hospital and are elderly with few relatives left. We often have to choose the type of tree for them and therefore Oak is our go to tree.

FletcherPratt8 karma

  1. what is different about your coffins and burial method from conventional methods? Does it somehow encourage more natural decomposition?

  2. Are embalming chemicals an environmental concern?

  3. Do you plant the tree directly over the grave site so that the bodies actually nourish the tree?

WoodlandBurials23 karma


Not a huge amount is different but our grounds are not a cultivated British garden, they are wild and full of wildlife. From rabbits, foxes, starlings and other bird life. We even have a few deer. These are often discouraged from your stereotypical graveyard.

Everything on our site is biodegradable, even the name and date plaques I laser engrave, these will diminish and be warn away within about ten years, they can of course be replaced if you so wish.

Nothing is different about the coffins, they are the exact same as the ones in standard graveyards. We do not supply coffins, we are not funeral directors we work along side them. We just maintain the grounds, and organise them as well as advertise and sell the plots.

If you want to go full natural, a shroud is the best bet. We don't encourage or discourage anything, you get what you want and we will try are best to make it happen.


Nope, not a concern at all. People have been embalmed for centuries, if it caused any lasting damage we would of stopped by now.

Apart of a Tree

Yes and no. It's not directly on top of the burial mound but on the far side slope. As the ground takes a long time to sink. Don't get me wrong, your bodily remains will certainly become a part of the root system. And as the mound slowly sinks and levels off, it will be as if your body is laying under the tree as if it where your head stone.

FletcherPratt6 karma

Thanks. This is really interesting.

WoodlandBurials8 karma

No problem!

If you'd like an information pack or to know more about what we do please hit me up on

[email protected]

FletcherPratt9 karma

'murcan here but thanks

WoodlandBurials19 karma

I'm hoping to expand the business state side at some point, so it's nice to know that there are people on the other side of the pond who are interested. Failing that please like our Facebook page so we can get some brand awareness going!

WoodlandBurials7 karma

Chaps, I gotta take a break for a while. I'll be back soon!! Keep sending me questions and I'll answer them all when I get back.

Love WB

yarash5 karma

This is a great idea and I hope you do end up doing business in the US. Can you give a rough estimate of how much it costs? I imagine working with ashes is somewhat cheaper than a coffin?

WoodlandBurials11 karma

Not by much.

A full interment is at the moment £875 and an Ashes is £825

This is because, a tree takes up the same amount of space. So ashes plots and full body plots are the exact same size. Ashes are a touch cheaper, because the hole doesn't need to be as big :)

EstherHarshom5 karma

You said in one of your other replies that you're twenty. How do you get into a job like this so young?

WoodlandBurials13 karma

By shear accident.

I applied to work for a business that one of my current bosses is a trustee of, somehow through a mix up in paperwork I ended up getting directed to my current office building and having an interview there.

I didn't realise, but I was desperate for a job and I ended up answering the questions asked relatively well and was offered the position, as I bring a fresher approach to the business and have a mind from the current times. Unfortunately the company itself was a bit backwards on social networking and the power the Internet brings to how a business can operate. So I came in and kind of made my own little jobs. It's something different to do!

I also got my unemployed friend a job with me as well, through my recommendation that he would be the perfect candidate to help maintain the site and work on our other projects.

rockm-sockm8 karma

By shear accident.

I see what you did there...

WoodlandBurials4 karma

You got me!

RakeattheGates4 karma

No question, just wanted to say that this is so cool. I've always wanted to be returned to the Earth but not by rotting in a wooden box in some random field. I figured cremation and having my ashes spread would be the best option available but now I hope there is something like this near me when I kick it.

WoodlandBurials4 karma

Thank you, please feel free to snoop around our Facebook page :)


Paraplegic_Penguin3 karma

So if I was to be buried as an apple tree and my relatives then ate the apples off of my branches, would I like, be inside them? Can I control them?

WoodlandBurials3 karma

Only when they sleep.

gsasquatch3 karma

How are the graves dug? Do the roots get in the way? Does digging the graves damage the root system?

I love this idea, I've always wanted to be buried in a shoddily built pine box under a middle aged oak tree somewhere that won't be touched in a couple generations.

WoodlandBurials6 karma

We use a mix of mini digger and man power, the root systems to do not get in the way as there's around ten feet in between each grave.

Digging can damage some roots but it would not detriment the tree to any great extent, the roots continue to grow and slight damage can happen. However as each tree is planted at the same time. It's only once in a while will we have to dig up next to a large well established tree, usually in the case of double plots and family plots. Therefore we often leave a little bit more room around the double plots.

Trelalala3 karma

Do you only plant the trees in these designated areas or are they family of the deceased at liberty to take the tree and plant it somewhere of there choosing?

WoodlandBurials13 karma

We try and keep the woodland structured, so it doesn't come out patch work. We have a series of large areas, and we work along a plot system. The trees can only be planted as "head stone" so to speak on the burial mound itself. However we can also provide an identical tree "sibling" for you to take home and plant in your garden or other spot of importance.

Trelalala10 karma

I really like the identical tree 'sibling' idea!

WoodlandBurials9 karma

They are effectively the same tree, and its nice for people to have something that they can nurture themselves and look after that represents the person they loved.

Slinkyfest20057 karma

Terrifying in a sense. As an owner of a black thumb the thought of killing the last worldly representative of my loved one alarms me, even as I enjoy the the concept.

WoodlandBurials5 karma

Thankfully we look after the one that contains the DNA of your loved one :P so have no fear!

Trelalala0 karma

This is defiantly something I would consider over the traditional cemetery! Whoever thought it up is a genius.

WoodlandBurials5 karma

That is up for debate who "started" it, however we started the first site in the UK so... It's probably my boss. Don't tell him that

CDRCRDS3 karma

Got any pictures?

WoodlandBurials5 karma

Check out the fb page it has a lot of photos of our site, currently I cannot upload to Imgur as it keeps failing :/

But yeah, check out the fb page :)


CDRCRDS4 karma

It's not what I thought it would look like. I thought it was oing to be like this. http://img.youtube.com/vi/QP-TnDua0ng/0.jpg And like you'd be able to see the deceased inside the tree sort of like a Tim Burton movie or something. But I think its cool over all.

WoodlandBurials3 karma

Hahaha it would make working night shifts a bit creepier!

DeeeezNutts3 karma

im an ent.

WoodlandBurials7 karma

You're a' wizard 'Arry

BluegrassMusic2 karma

Do your corpses still have to be pickled?

edit: fermented, sorry

WoodlandBurials9 karma

I prefer poached

marmighty1 karma

How much do you charge to reserve a plot at Wrabness and where do I sign?

WoodlandBurials1 karma

Please visit our enquiries page


And I'll give you a call on Monday