Guidance for Family and Friends

Guidance for Family and Friends

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 should be directed to your Funeral Director. For general enquiries please contact

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 reviewed annually and made available to residents. 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 and has an ongoing connection with the Parish.

Other residents of adjacent parishes to Martley may also apply to be buried within the Burial Ground by contacting the Burial Ground Manager at

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


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 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. No other person will be allowed to undertake any excavations within the burial ground except with the express permission of the Parish Council.

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

Booking of Interments

Your Funeral Director will contact the Burial Ground Manager regarding bookings and also liaise with any officiating clergy.

The certificate given by the Registrar of Births and deaths, or an order of the Coroner, must be delivered to the parish clerk via the funeral director prior to the funeral.

The Parish Council will determine the appropriate fees to be paid for the funeral, which must be paid fully on receipt of invoice from funeral director.

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.


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, normally 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 Celebrant 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 or benches 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. You will be required to sign a document agreeing to these regulations.

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

Download Martley Countryside Burial Ground Memorial Tree Selection Booklet

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.