atmospheric five-acre woodland


The Natural Burial Woodland is situated at the top of Arnos Vale cemetery adjacent to Arnos Park in Bristol. The atmospheric five-acre woodland coombe was originally used as an orchard space by the Victorian owners. The orchard has grown naturally over time to become a wildlife haven for many birds and animals and offers a peaceful space for those wishing to have a more natural final resting place.

A natural burial is simply the choice to be buried in an environmentally friendly, green woodland setting rather than a traditional cemetery plot.

Burials must take place in coffins or shrouds made of sustainable biodegradable materials such as natural wood, woven materials (bamboo, willow, seagrass, wool) and cardboard. You do not need to use a coffin; many people prefer to use a shroud.

Arnos Vale Natural Burial Woodland is an extension to Arnos Vale Cemetery, both are managed by the Arnos Vale Cemetery (Charitable) Trust. It is also a member of the Association of Natural Burial Grounds.

Anyone can have a natural woodland burial

The ground in the woodland is open to everyone. We embrace people of all beliefs, persuasions or values. If you would like a consecrated grave (grave usually dedicated as sacred by a specific religion) then please enquire with our Cemetery Services Coordinator as we may have these types of graves elsewhere in the cemetery.

We may allow the pre-purchase of graves in the woodland if there are extenuating circumstances. However, pre-purchase only secures a grave in the woodland and not a specific area within the woodland. We do not offer double depth graves due to environmental reasons.

Interment of Ashes

We have spaces available for the burial of ashes on the slopes above the grave areas. The plots are available for one set of ashes contained in a sustainable biodegradable casket made of materials such as natural wood, woven materials (bamboo, willow, seagrass, wool) and cardboard. We are happy to inter ashes without a casket. Please note that the ashes interment areas are steeper than the burial areas, so may not be as accessible if you wish to have a ceremony. Small ceremonies can be conducted in the lower part of the woodland.


Thank you for going above and beyond
the call of duty to ensure that
my late Husband's life was celebrated

HT 2018

Holding a Funeral Service and Wake

A Funeral Service can be held in any of our three venues, in the lower part of the cemetery. The Anglican Chapel, the Spielman Centre or the Underwood Centre.

The Anglican chapel holds up to 100 people seated with room for standing and the Spielman Centre holds up to 70 seated with room for standing – both chapels are fully accessible. For a more intimate green setting for a service, we have the Underwood Centre which has a small outdoor covered area amongst the trees and can hold up to 50 people seated with room for standing.

After the natural burial, the Spielman Centre is available for your wake. The Cemetery Services Coordinator will be happy to provide you with contact details for external caterers that are familiar with the site.

Using a Funeral Director

Most families do employ a funeral director to assist them with organising a funeral. Funeral directors coordinate the funeral and bring your loved one to the cemetery and the natural burial ground. 

We would be happy to provide you with a list of local funeral directors should you wish or just as happy to make arrangements with a funeral director of your choice if you are using one.

Some families wish to organise the funeral themselves without a funeral director. If this is what you wish to do, once you have made arrangements with the cemetery there will be a staff member to greet you on arrival on the day of the funeral. 

If you would like to know more about our woodland burials and eco-funerals, please fill the contact form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

0117 971 9117 to find out more about Woodland Burials


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