Garden burials

There is nothing to stop owners of private land from burying cremated or non-cremated remains on their own land eg in gardens, fields. Depending on the circumstances, planning permission may be needed and there may be public health implications.

Some of the practical considerations are:

  • The size of the garden and how close the grave is to houses.
  • Whether the family wants to move the body after the property is sold (this requires an exhumation licence).
  • The likelihood of anyone visiting the grave in the future.
  • Whether future purchasers would buy a house with a body buried in the garden. 

If you are thinking about this type of burial please contact us.

A record of any burial on private land should be kept, preferably with the deeds of the property. Future buyers should be made aware during the sale of the property. You also need:

  • A copy of the death certificate to confirm the identity of the deceased and that the death has been properly registered.
  • A plan of the house and garden marked with the location of the grave.
  • Confirmation the Environment Agency has been consulted and has no objection re possible groundwater contamination.

It is an offence to disturb human remains, including cremated remains without getting permission and a Licence to Exhume issued by the Ministry of Justice at the following address Coroners and Burials Division, 102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AJ. Tel: 020 3334 6390.

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