Argyll and Bute Council introduces new woodland and green burials policy

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Published Date: 

10 Sep 2014 - 09:51

New policy is designed to give people an alternative to a traditional burial

At August’s meeting of Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy and Resources Committee members agreed to adopt the new green and woodland burials policy.

This policy offers choices to people who are looking for an alternative to traditional burial.

Woodland burials are less formal than traditional internments with the deceased being interned in a shallower, single lair. Coffins used in these burials are biodegradable, with the material tending to be wicker or bamboo. 

Maintenance of these sites is in keeping with the natural woodland setting, with the grass being cut only once a year and trees being planted around the grave to create a pleasant, natural environment over time.

Each year the council receives a handful of enquiries from people seeking a woodland burial; as this option becomes more popular there is an expectation that the number of enquiries will increase.

The policy identifies four cemeteries in Argyll and Bute, one in each administrative area, which will be extended to include specific woodland areas. These are:

  • In Mid-Argyll - Carrick Cemetery in Tarbert
  • In Bute and Cowal - Strachur Cemetery
  • In Oban, Lorn and the Isles - Pennyfuir Cemetery in Oban
  • In Helensburgh and Lomond - Barbour Cemetery in Cove

These burials require more land than a traditional burial due to the low density of the lairs and the single graves, which reduces the number of internments in comparison to a traditional lair. With this in mind, and the maintenance regime which differs significantly from that of the more traditional parts of the cemeteries, the price will be around twice that of a conventional lair.

For some people this kind of burial is seen as the logical extension of an environmentally aware lifestyle.

For further information please see the policy itself at

And for information on burials go to