Legal issues and embalming

Although it is not something people generally like to talk about or acknowledge, traditional cemeteries are facing crises; overcrowding means that graves are reused time and time again. And because non-biodegradable coffins were used (and embalming allowed) there are often recognisable human remains involved, which is very distressing for all concerned.

When a plot is purchased through Acorn Ridge, a licence is issued granting exclusive rights for a period of 30 years (Ash interments are issued for 10 years). This means that the plot will not be reused for another interment during that time. If (at the expiry of the licence period) you wish to extend the exclusive rights, a further 30 years (or 10 for ash interments) licence may be purchased.

In reality, it is highly unlikely that any plot would be reused as the burial ground covers 20 acres. However, in line with our ethos to protect and look after the land we understand that it is important that everybody who expresses a wish to have Acorn Ridge as their final resting place is able to do so.

At Acorn Ridge, persons who have been embalmed or treated with formaldehyde cannot be accepted due to environmental issues. Also, those with a notifiable disease at the time of death may not be interred due to potential environmental and wider health implications. An example of a notifiable disease is tetanus, but a full list can be obtained from the Health Protection Agency (

We feel that this approach is the responsible choice, both for the environment and ourselves.