Natural Calderdale burial ground in 'beautiful location' moves a step closer

Booth Burial Ground, Booth Hill, Luddenden
Booth Burial Ground, Booth Hill, Luddenden

A natural burial service will soon be available for Calderdale families whose loved ones wanted an alternative to cremation or ordinary burial.

Members of Calderdale Council’s cabinet heard that set-up costs will be minimal with a site for a natural burial ground available next to an existing site at Booth in the upper Calder Valley.

They agreed the site should be prepared and made operational as soon as possible.

Councillors were told it would not cost much to ready the site – around £2,000 which will be recovered through the sale of plots – which is already owned by the council and is already designated as burial land.

The area will need to be mapped to produced as detailed grave plan of the site, some natural screening will be provided using appropriate bushes, shrubs and the like, an access point needs to be created from the existing cemetery boundary and concerns nearby residents might have will need to be addressed, said the briefing paper prepared by council officers.

Cabinet member for Public Services and Communities, Coun Susan Press (Lab, Todmorden) said details about it were being put on the council’s website.

“In recent years there has been an increasing number of people who want the option to have a natural burial as opposed to cremation or burial in a traditional cemetery,” she said.

Natural burial for those who wanted it also partly met the council’s goals of becoming more eco-friendly and addressing climate concerns, she said.

Coun Jane Scullion said she supported the proposal because Calderdale people had been looking for this option for some time and if they wanted a natural burial had had to go into Lancashire to find it.

Coun Scott Patient (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said it was really important the council offered this service and it fitted with the authority’s climate emergency agenda too, with people not having to travel outside the borough for an option of this type.

It was a good spot, he said: “It’s a very beautiful rural location.”