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Choosing a Natural Burial Ground: Old Park Meadow - A Peaceful Resting Place in Dunmow

Old Park Meadows 

Welcome to Old Park Meadow, where we offer a natural and eco-friendly alternative for a final resting place. Nestled in the heart of Essex, our burial ground is carefully designed to preserve the environment and provide a peaceful and reflective space.

Key Features

Types of burial available: 

  • Woodland burials
  • Meadow burials
  • Waterside burials

Eco-friendly Practices: 

  • No embalming chemicals.
  • Biodegradable coffins and urns must be used.
  • Natural fabrics for dressing the deceased must be used.
  • No gardening of the woodland, meadows, graves, or any part of the grounds is permitted, including the picking of wildflowers and fungi.
  • To protect native species, planting of any kind or the scattering of seeds is not permitted.
  • Ornaments, greetings cards, photographs, balloons, lanterns, toys, vases, and other such items are not permitted and will be removed.
  • No edging, fencing, stones, flowerpots, stakes, ropes, ties, or other such garden items to be displayed on the grave site.


Contact Information: 

  • Landline: 01245 806332
  • email:

Opening Hours: 

  • Office opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.30-5pm.
  • Unrestricted pedestrian access to the site is available from dawn till dusk.



  • The Old park Lodge is easily accessible by wheelchair. However, the grounds themselves are truly natural burial grounds. They have rough grass cut pathways in many areas which may not be suitable for wheelchairs.
  • On-site car parking for 48 cars is available with designated spaces for disabled visitors.
  • 25 off-site spaces are available on a grassed area 
  • No vehicles, including bicycles, are permitted beyond the car park.

Visitor Amenities: 

  • There are toilet facilities for visitors inside the Old Park Lodge.
  • There are a number of outdoor benches at various locations around the grounds.

Ceremonial Options: 

  • Old Park Meadow has a wheelchair friendly,  air conditioned purpose-built venue for remembrance services.
  • Old Park Lodge is a light and airy peaceful space that can hold up to 200 people. It enjoys excellent acoustics and has a high quality audio system.
  • There’s complete flexibility in the seating arrangements and you can also use the lodge as a venue for a wake or pfor greetings and goodbyes before the natural burial.

Accommodation Nearby: 

There are a number of accommodation options nearby. Check here for options

Scenic Views: Old Park meadow is spread over 34 acres of beautiful Essex countryside. The area includes young bluebell woods, wildflower meadows and a natural pond area. 

Services and pricing 

Burial packages: The Old Park Meadow is divided into four areas.

  • Wildflower Meadow
  • Spring Corner
  • Bluebell Wood
  • Water’s View

Each area has a separate price structure. The Wildflower Meadow being the cheapest and the Waters View the most expensive.

The price of a plot is also dependent on size. 

A child's plot is half that of an adults. As you would expect, burial plots are significantly more than plots for ashes.

This price includes a contribution for the long-term management and maintenance of Old Park Meadow Natural Burial Ground. 

It is possible to buy plots in advance at no extra cost.

1 - Single plot

  • Wildflower Meadow  £1,725
  • Spring Corner  £ 2,575
  • Bluebell Wood  £ 3,495
  • Waters View  £ 5,475

2 - Double

  • There are no specific double plots. You must purchase two single plots. They will strive to find plots next to each other or if this is not possible within close proximity.

3 - Family

  • There are no specific family plots. You must purchase individual single plots. They will strive to find plots next to each other or if this is not possible within close proximity.

4 - Ash Plots

The price of plots to bury ashes varies depending on the location. The ashes must be in a biodegradable urn or basket. Alternatively the ashes can be poured directly into the grave.

Prices from £695 to £2050

  • Wildflower Meadow: £775

  • Spring Corner: £1075

  • Bluebell Wood £1525

  • Water’s View: £2175

Memorial Services

The Old Park Lodge is a purpose built venue in which to hold remembrance service of a religious or non-religious nature. 

There’s complete flexibility in the seating arrangements and you can also use the lodge as a place for greetings and goodbyes before the natural burial or for your wake.

Cost of Venue Hire

  • The Lodge can be hired at a cost of £280 for one and a half hours and an additional charge of £140 per hour thereafter.
  • Catering can be provided for an additional fee. Please request a quotation.

Additional Services: Headstones and Memorial Plaques

  • Only wooden grave markers engraved with a name and dates are permitted. They cost £135 and will be displayed for 5 years. At the end of this period they will need to be renewed again.
  • Engraved slate memorials can be placed on the wooden markers at an additional cost of £370


There are a number of benches located throughout the grounds. It is possible to buy a memorial plaque for a bench at a cost of £245 for a term of 5 years. It is renewable for a further 5 years after that.


Each new tree costs £360. Each tree is guaranteed for a period of 5 years and it will be renewed if it fails within that time.However, there are only a limited number of living tree memorials available.

You can choose to sponsor an existing tree for the sum of £225 for a period of 5 years.

The Copper Tree: 

Old Park Meadow offers a unique way to remember loved ones. You can choose to have an engraved Memorial Leaf to go on their Copper Tree, displayed for the lifetime of the Memorial Leaf on the Copper Tree. Each leaf costs £385.

If you would like an additional engraved leaf to take home these cost £135 per leaf.  Leaves may tarnish with time.

Book of Remembrance: 

Old Park Meadow keeps a Book of Remembrance where you can record your loved ones details. There is a fee for each Book of Remembrance entry:

  • 2 lines - £85
  • 5 lines - £135
  • 8 lines - £170
  • Additional Motif - £85

Wildlife Box: 

It is possible to sponsor a wildlife box as a living memorial and tribute to your loved one. Each box provides a home to local species and lasts for 3 years. 

    • Barn Owl Box Sponsorship £155
    • Bird Box £90
    • Bat Box £90
    • Hedgehog Box £90

Delyse Jackaman - Old Park Meadow Manager

Delyse Jackaman - Manager of Old Park Meadow Natural Burial Ground, Chelmsford
'There are such a variety of natural burial grounds in the UK today enabling families to say goodbye their own way. They are open to everyone, from anywhere, for all faiths, beliefs or none at all. Services, burials, ash interments and wakes are all possible with time, compassion and nature being at the forefront of everything we do. Within the Association of Natural Burial Grounds, members have over a quarter of a million burial spaces available. Bearing in mind natural burial is kinder to the environment, it would be a positive step if more people considered this choice.'


Is pre-planning available? 

There is an option to pay for plots in advance at no additional cost.


What are the environmental benefits of a natural burial?

Natural burials remove elements of the traditional burial process that can slow natural decomposition and damage surrounding ecosystems. A natural burial allows you to rest in scenic surroundings, where family and friends can return and see the landscape grow with each passing year.


Is there a restriction on the type of coffin/urn that can be used?

Yes. Strictly biodegradable coffins and urns only. Everything must be biodegradable including the pillow and the deceased's clothes. It is not necessary to have a coffin; a simple shroud made from natural materials is sufficient but the body cannot be embalmed. Ashes may be scattered directly into the grave.

Most traditional solid wooden coffins (not chipboard) can be buried at Old Park Meadow, as well as those made of willow, seagrass, cardboard, bamboo, and other eco-friendly materials. They must not be decorated with any oil-based paints and the use of preservatives is discouraged.

All handles, name plates and linings must be biodegradable.


How do we arrange a funeral at Old Park Meadow?

Get in touch online, by phone, or come and visit us. A member of our friendly and experienced team will discuss your options with you and cater to your specific funeral needs. We work closely with many funeral directors, clergy, and other secular organisations to ensure the wishes of you or your loved one are fully satisfied.


Can we choose the exact spot for the burial?

Old Park Meadow offers burial plots in varying but equally picturesque locations across our natural burial ground. Whether you would prefer a spot in our young bluebell wood, our wildflower meadow, spring corner, or one with a view of our scenic pond, our team can help you choose the right final resting place.


If the grave is not marked, how will people find it?

A: We carefully record our graves using traditional mapping and an electronic tag system. This is to ensure we have a permanent record of those buried with us. During opening hours, a member of staff will always be on hand to help you locate a grave. We can also provide wooden grave markers.


Can people be buried together?

Our burial plots are created to accommodate one burial, but you can purchase two plots side by side. If this is not possible, we will strive to find you resting places as close together as the remaining plots allow.


Can anyone witness the grave being filled?

Yes, however we do require advanced notice to ensure we are adequately prepared.


Is there a restriction on the types of trees planted?

Yes. Only specific trees are allowed for example, Rowan, Crab Apple, Lime, Silver birch, Aspen, Apple, Holly, Hazel, Sweet Chestnut.

Not all of the trees can be planted in all of the areas.

You can find a full list here



Old Park Meadow is a tranquil and well run natural burial site that offers plots for a period of 75 years. Each plot can be renewed at the end of 75 years. The emphasis of the site is in maintaining and enhancing the natural balance of wildlife and preserving wildlife. It is not the cheapest natural burial site but it is a beautiful one.


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