Sudbury: Green burial plot branded a ‘wilderness’ as weeds sprout throughout the meadow
14:59 01 August 2014
A green cemetery in west Suffolk has been criticised for becoming a little “too green”.
Last year, Sudbury Town Council planted a trial area of wildflowers at the plot on Newton Road to create a tranquil “meadow” for its green burial site. But at a meeting this week, deputy town clerk Jacqui Howells said people who were considering a green burial had been “put off” because the cemetery had become more like a “wilderness”.
Members of the council’s leisure and environment committee admitted they needed to seek advice on how to manage the patch, which is next to the neatly mown main cemetery.
The cost of being buried in the green cemetery is £600 whereas a burial in the main cemetery is £580. The idea of the green section is to provide the community with the choice of environmentally friendly burials in a natural setting for those who want to “return to nature”. The burial is performed using only biodegradable materials and the graves are discreetly marked with ground markers and recorded on a plan rather than having headstones. But according to Mrs Howells, the idea has gone a bit too far.
She said: “The green cemetery is very overgrown with weeds and it’s putting people off because it’s like being buried in the middle of an overgrown field. We haven’t had many requests for green burials because the patch isn’t managed properly. It’s a complete wilderness at the moment.”
The council’s gardening contractor has recently seeded a small area with wildflowers. But the cemetery manager has got to the point where he believes the patch needs to be mowed. However, committee member Lesley Ford Platt said: “Mowing it would go against the whole principle of having a green cemetery. The area should be scythed periodically but not mowed.”
Mrs Howells added: “We have been looking at examples of other green cemeteries and no one seems to know how they should be managed. Clearly we need to seek some advice.”