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;

  • Check there is no covenant on the land that could prohibit a burial
  • Ensure there are no local byelaws preventing the burial
  • A record must be placed on the deeds of the land to record details of the burial
  • Requests to move or exhume the body at a later date are made to the Home Office and may or may not be granted 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stay clear of water, gas and electrical services.
  • There should be at least 1m of soil above the lid of the coffin.

The The Natural Death Centre  provides independent funeral advice.