Trust History


Barton Glebe - The Burial Ground


The Lodge


Memorial Book


Tree Sponsorship


The Staff - How to Contact Us?


Where is the Burial Ground?


Fees and Grave Reservation Details


Rules of the Burial Ground


Ground Maintenance


Map of the Burial Ground




Leaflets, Newsletters and Forms












Are trees planted over the graves?

No, they are not. At the Arbory Trust, people are buried in glades surrounded by trees rather than underneath them. Trees can become diseased or struck by lightning, serious problems can arise if trees have to be dug out, and tree roots can also interfere with graves.

Can the graves be marked?

The graves may be marked with wooden plaques only, which will biodegrade over a period of years. They may be no larger than an A3 piece of paper, and must not be mounted on a stake or post- they must be placed flush to the ground.

No other form of marker is permitted. Ultimately the graves will be mown over to form part of the natural woodland and glades. See 'Rules of the Burial Ground'.

How will I or my family know where a grave is once it has blended into the glade?

All grave locations are regularly surveyed and recorded by the Arbory Trust.

Are single and double graves available?

Graves can be single or double depth, though double depth is not possible in certain glades.

How is the wood managed and what plans are there for the future?

We are not trying to create a park- Arbory Trust woods really will be woods. The woodland will be managed for the benefit of people, plants and animals, using sustainable and ecological principles, and sufficient funds will be set aside to ensure ongoing maintenance costs are covered once the burial ground is full.

Is there any maintenance of the graves?

Within a few weeks of a grave being filled, a mixture of grass and wildflower seed will be scattered. Further seed will be scattered as and when it is deemed appropriate and such growth should not be removed or otherwise deterred. The glades themselves will only be mown entirely once, in late September. Gardening of the graves is not permitted- see Rules of the Burial Ground and Ground Maintenance.

Will Arbory Trust woodlands be open all the year around?

Arbory Trust woodlands are open 365 days a year. The gates are never locked, but PLEASE CLOSE THE GATES WHEN YOU LEAVE AND ASK OTHERS TO DO THE SAME. This helps to minimise access by deer!

What type of coffin can be used?

You may use any type of biodegradable coffin or casket, or a shroud. There are many options available- all Funeral Directors have plenty of information, and a simple internet search yields good results.

What about embalming?

We will accept embalmed bodies only in very exceptional circumstances, such as repatriation, given the toxic nature of the materials used in the process.

Is there a Memorial Book?

Yes. When someone dies, we hope their families will sit down and write about them- what they did, what they liked, whom they loved. This is really a tribute to their life. All these tributes are kept and bound in the Memorial Books, which are available for viewing in the Memorial Lodge when open. See Memorial Book page.

Is the Lodge open for general visiting?

The Lodge is open every Wednesday and you are most welcome to drop in from 10am to 2pm with any questions,and we'll be happy to help. See the Memorial Lodge page.

Can I put a bench at Barton? I have seen several.

No more benches will be permitted in the current phase of development. We are anxious to keep the right balance for the woodland, and hope you will understand that we cannot allow a bench near every grave.

Do I have to use a Funeral Director?

No. It is not required but you may find it helpful to use their services to assist with all matters that arise following a death. All local Funeral Directors are very familiar with Barton Glebe,and should be happy to help you, and we will readily assist Funeral Directors from other parts of the country with any arrangements you wish to make at Barton. We can advise families on how to do everything themselves so just ask. Further advice is also available from the Natural Death Centre and the Good Funeral Guide website. Click here

Do I need a Minister?

It is often a good idea (although it is not required) that you have someone to direct the funeral, whether they be a member of the clergy, a Humanist minister, a Civil Funeral celebrant or other person not directly involved with the family. Bear in mind that emotions run high and it is often better to have someone other than a family member in charge of events. We do ask that all funerals are conducted with dignity and respect.

Who prepares the grave?

For reasons of health and safety, only those approved of by The Arbory Trust and who are appropriately qualified and insured may prepare graves at Barton. Depending on the size, location and accessibility of each grave location, graves will be prepared and subsequently filled with a mechanical digger or hand digging as required.

Are graves a standard size?

Each grave is prepared to meet the size of the casket or coffin. In exceptional circumstances there may be an additional charge for a grave space where dimensions exceed what is considered to be within a normal range.

Is it possible to have funerals at the weekends?

We believe it is important for friends and families to be able to visit the woodlands at weekends and on public holidays without worrying about coming across a funeral taking place. Therefore we do not allow funerals at the weekends, unless there are very exceptional circumstances.

Can I walk my dog at Barton?

You are welcome to walk with your dogs, but they must be on leads and you must ensure they do not cause any damage. You MUST clear up after them, out of consideration for other users.

Can I drive my car further than the car park?

No. It is important to preserve the rides as grass areas, in keeping with the woodland setting. The only exception is for funerals. Any special requests should be brought to the staff, who will advise accordingly.

What if it is wet or inclement on the day of a funeral?

Thought must always be given to the fact that Barton Glebe is woodland, and access to Glades is via grass rides and paths. Appropriate footwear should be worn, and this often means wellies or walking boots following periods of rain or snow, as the terrain can be muddy or soft. High heels are not advisable at any time.

How do I make a complaint?

In the first instance please do contact the Administrator, who will always be ready to help resolve any problem you may have. If that is not possible, you can write to the Trustees of the Arbory Trust, Bishop Woodford House, Barton Road, Ely CB7 4DX and your complaint will be dealt with as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you may refer your complaint to the Association of Natural Burial Grounds.

How can I leave feedback?

As an established member of the Association of Natural Burial Grounds (ANBG), we are required to offer you the opportunity to leave feedback which can be completed on line. The ANBG are also happy to hear from you directly with any comments you may have.


















Registered Office : Bishop Woodford House, Barton Road, Ely, CB7 4DX. Telephone: 01223 303874 : Charity Number: 1079635