Charles Cowling

Yuli Somme of Bellacouche in her workshop making one of her felt leaf shrouds. Find her here.


On the North Island of New Zealand, Whangarei District Council has been researching natural burial for the last three years. Three years? Yes, they want to do it as it should be done. Cemetery manager Helen Cairns says: 

“When we do get natural burial – if we get natural burial – we want to make sure that we do it right and in the specific way people want it. I’m more than happy to talk the subject over with people.”

From an impossibly badly written article in the Northern Advocate we learn that Whangerei are planning to bury at 3 feet, allowing for vibrant, aerobic decomposition and environmentally useful human compost.

If only natural buriers would make a virtue of that in the UK. When people make a whole-body donation to the Earth it is only right that best use be made of that body. 

Full story here






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9 years ago

Gotta dash, spuds in the oven, but… how many people ask us funeralistas about ‘green’ funerals? What’s different about a woodland burial site, compared with a cemetery in this country, is that it’s nicer to spend time in a wood than among rows of gravestones. As far as Granny being compost for the tree planted above her is concerned – well, read Charles’ comments about ‘methane and sludge’ in his excellent book (available on Amazon, I believe) ‘The Good Funeral Guide’.