Sun Rising
Natural Burial Ground and Nature Reserve
01295 688488

Visiting a Grave

Common Blue on a ButtercupAfter a Funeral

At Sun Rising, we believe in letting nature take its course, gently. Graves are not returfed or rolled, but settle in their own time, topped up when needed. Graves may be seeded in the autumn or left to self-seed from the wildflower meadow. It will take a while for a grave to settle and green over, for which we ask your patience.

Finding a Grave

At a natural burial ground, some graves have no markers. Meadow graves will never be marked. Woodland graves may have a small slate tree plaque, but it may take few months for the grave to settle sufficiently for us to install it. Where a tree plaque has been ordered, it is possible to purchase a temporary grave marker from us.

Families may believe they know just which their loved one's grave is, but nature changes - grass grows or is mown, trees are in leaf or bare; other grave plots are used; even the colours of the wide open skies can confuse us. Post TagWe know how distressing it can be for someone unable to find a particular grave: if you would like help locating a grave, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We can send a map in advance, direct you over the phone, or meet you onsite. We are here to help at this difficult time.

Alternatively, if you have a grave number (which can be found on the Interment Certificate), it may be possible to find the grave yourself. Each memorial post has a number tag nailed onto the north facing slop of its top, and each grave is marked by the number of plots north, south, east or west from that post. Posts are not all in a logical order, so you may need a rough idea of where you're looking to begin with.

For those of a technical disposition, we can give you a grid reference or a what3words code to find a particular grave.

Gifts and Cut Flowers Left on Graves

At Sun Rising we are happy for families and friends to leave flowers on graves, particularly in the first few weeks following a funeral. When they start to wilt and look tatty, flowers are composted. We ask families, please, not to leave cut flowers in celophane, paper, jars or pots. Ideally flowers should be tied together with raffia or string, not elastic bands. The more natural the flowers look, the longer they are likely to be left - we will remove dyed flowers, cut flowers standing upright, and flowers in oasis, more quickly than small bouquets laid on the grave.

Our list of florists can be found on our Making it Personal page. Note in particular our very local florist Hope and Glory Flowers, based at Tysoe Post Office: Jacqui grows her own flowers at the top of Sun Rising Hill and aims to have a bucket of local flowers available daily through the season.

Fully biodegradable and environmentally-ethical Christmas wreaths can be ordered through us too.

In accordance with our Cemetery Regulations, no ornaments, spinners, vases or grave markers are permitted at Sun Rising, other than the slate plaques (and temporary wooden markers) supplied by us. We remove anything that is placed on graves and it is kept in the office for a short period; please get in touch if you would like an ornament returned to you. Our aim is to keep the burial ground looking natural, unlike a cemetery.

Anything planted in or near the grave will be removed as if it were cut flowers, unless it is a species native to the area - in which case we will either leave it or replant it so that it can thrive in the long term.

Tending Graves

We encourage families not to tend individual graves. We care for every grave with equal care. Furthermore, as we encourage the growth of wildflowers and grasses, any disturbance of the graves hinders the development of the nature reserve.

New graves are kept tidy by us, with the surrounding area mown in the summer. In the meadow, the grasses and flowers are allowed to grow around graves fairly soon, but paths are not mown around or through meadow graves. In the woodland areas paths are mown between graves for the first few years, after which we allow nature to step in more fully. The grasses and flowers are cut back once a year, between June and October, with a few areas left long a little longer to extend their use as habitats and hiding places.

If you would like to plant bulbs or flowers on a grave, please refer to our page: Planting on a Grave.

If you are worried about the look of your loved one's grave, please get in touch.