Funeral Director Guidance

Funeral Director Guidance

Burial Ground Rules and Regulations

Martley Parish Council has drawn up these regulations to ensure that the burial ground remains a peaceful and attractive area and demonstrates respect to all who are buried therein.

All interment bookings, general enquiries and comments regarding the burial ground should be directed to:

Burial Ground Manager, Guestwick, Suckley, Worcs WR6 5EH
Phone: 01886 884195

These Regulations are in addition to the provisions of the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order (1977) and any other appropriate regulations currently in force.

The burial ground is a place of peace and quiet reflection. It is also a workplace. Visitors to the site are welcome, but please respect the special nature of the site, the needs of other users and safety factors. No games, sports or riding of bicycles are permitted in the burial ground. No consumption of alcohol or drugs may take place within the burial ground and anybody under the effects of such substances will not be admitted.

General Regulations

The scale of fees will be published annually for residents of Martley. A resident is defined as somebody who, immediately prior to their death, was a resident of the defined parish, or who lived within the parish for over 10 years and moved out of the area for less than 24 months prior to their death.

Applications will also be welcomed from residents of adjacent parishes.

The Parish Council reserves the right to amend these regulations and to deal with any circumstances or contingency not provided for in these regulations.

The payment terms are 7 days from date of Application for Grant of Grave Space and receipt of Notice of Interment.


Graves will be allocated on a next available basis, at the final discretion of the Parish Council but the wishes of applicants will be met wherever possible.

The Exclusive Right of Burial for a grave can be purchased for a period of 70 years. The Exclusive Right of Burial can only be transferred to another person or persons who are entitled and via the legal process adopted by the Parish Council.

All graves will be excavated and prepared for interment by the Parish Council or their approved contractors only, arranged by the funeral director and the plot allocated and approved by the Burial Ground Manager. No other person will be allowed to undertake any excavations within the burial ground except with the express permission of the Parish Council. The depth of each grave will be determined by the Parish Council in accordance with the provisions of the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order (1977). This states that there should be 915mm of soil between the top of the last coffin interred and the ground level (for an average coffin being 380mm in height) for double depth graves 150mm of soil is to be left between each coffin.

New grave opening depth: 1980mm
Second interment depth: 1370mm
Child’s grave depth: 1370mm

Each grave shall only contain:
2 coffins, or
1 coffin and 2 cremated remains, or
4 cremated remains

Smaller plots are available for cremated remains.

Following the interment, the Parish Council will level the grave and re-turf or topsoil.

Booking of Interments

A provisional booking for a funeral may be made by telephone to the Burial Ground Manager.

The provisional booking for a funeral must be followed up by the submission of a completed Notice of Interment form to the Manager at least 48 working hours in advance of the interment date. Receipt of the fully and correctly completed Notice of Interment will act as confirmation of the provisional booking.

The exact size of the coffin, casket or container must be given in writing to the parish clerk as soon as possible after the provisional booking, together with any other pertinent information relating to the size and shape (e.g. locking bar handles, casket shape, wicker coffin etc.). The funeral director will subsequently be responsible for adding a suitable amount to the given size in order to determine the dimensions of the grave to be excavated.

As much information relating to the funeral as possible must be given to the manager in advance, especially if it is unusual, e.g. large numbered of mourners expected, motorbike cavalcade, jazz band, piper, etc..

If a grave is purchased and is to be reopened for a future interment, the written permission of the registered grave owner must be given, except where the burial is that of the registered grave owner.

The certificate given by the Registrar of Births and deaths, or an order of the Coroner, must be delivered to the Burial Ground Manager prior to the funeral.

The Parish Council will determine the appropriate fees to be paid for the funeral, which must be paid fully in advance.


Coffins and urns for burial must be made from suitable bio-degradable materials such as wood, wicker, cane bamboo, cardboard etc. The Parish Council also permits shroud burial.


Funerals will normally only be permitted Monday to Friday 09:30 – 15:00 (excluding bank or other public holidays). It may be possible to arrange funerals outside these hours subject to additional cost. The Burial Ground Manager must be contacted if a funeral outside of permitted hours is required.

All funerals will be subject to the control of the Parish Council’s designated officer, the Burial Ground Manager, who will meet the cortege and direct it to the burial ground shelter or grave as appropriate.

The time appointed for an interment must be punctually observed. The designated officer reserves the right to delay a late arriving funeral in the event that it impacts upon another service.

It is the responsibility of the person making the funeral arrangements to organise a Minister or Officiant for the funeral if one is required.

Any floral tributes from the funeral will be placed on top of the grave following back-filling and may remain in situ for a maximum of 21 days before being removed.

Scattering of Cremated Remains

The scattering of cremated remains is not permitted within the boundary of the burial ground. Any cremated remains must be interred in a designated grave.


The only permitted memorial is a flat stone tablet of not more than 450mm square and 50mm thick. A temporary wooden cross is permitted, not exceeding 450mm in height, prior to the provision of the tablet. The tablet is available through approved stonemasons, details of whom are available from the Burial Ground Manager and Martley Parish Council website.

In order to maintain the natural appearance of the burial ground, no other memorials, benches or trees are permitted and will be removed. Floral tributes may be laid on anniversary of death or other occasion, e.g. Christmas. These will be removed after the Christmas period at the end of January, or sooner if decayed. For other occasions, floral tributes may remain in situ for a maximum of 21 days before being removed . Those arranging an interment must be made aware of this and are required to sign to say they agree to the regulations.

The only permitted memorial trees are available through the Burial Ground Manager. These will be planted in a designated area during the autumn each year and families will be invited to attend.

Maintenance Work

Grass cutting will be carried out by the Parish Council and the frequency will be determined by weather conditions. The Parish Council will carry out levelling or in-filling of grave spaces where this becomes necessary.

Funeral Director Documents to Download

Permission to Erect or Engrave Flat Stone Memorial

Agreement to Abide by Regulations

Notice of Interment