An eco-friendly funeral company’s burial grounds have been named the best in the country.
Kent Natural Burials, based in Iwade, near Sittingbourne, was awarded the accolade at the Association of Green Funeral Directors’ (AGFD) Good Funeral Awards.
The finalists were voted on by the public and funeral directors, with the firm fending off competition in the Best Burial Ground of the Year category.
The AGFD awards, which aim to promote and bring natural eco-friendly funerals into the mainstream, were hosted by Maidstone-born actor Shaun Williamson, of EastEnders’ fame, who helped mark the event held in Birmingham on Saturday, September 23.
Kent Natural Burials was founded in 2007 with the opening of Deerton burial ground near Teynham.
The Riverview burial site, in Lower Halstow, opened four years later in March 2019.
Kent Natural Burials manager Sian Muir said she was “delighted” to have won the award.
Speaking after the event, she said: “The whole team has worked hard over the past few years enabling families to have a bespoke and caring experience when laying their loved ones to rest.”
Company director Rebecca O’Neill added that the award will help to promote the idea of “environmentally friendly, sustainable” natural burials.
She said: “I am very proud of the whole team who have worked extremely hard over the past few years, especially throughout COVID to ensure that our families are treated with care and compassion.
“We take great pride in looking after our natural burial grounds, creating a nature-rich habitat to support local wildlife as well as delivering a beautiful and comforting resting place.”
Both sites have a mixture of tree species including rowan, wild cherry, crab apple, silver birch, whitebeam, field maple, hazel and gelder roseall which are all native to the area.
Bespoke wooden benches have also been positioned throughout the burial grounds.
The Good Funeral Awards are run by the AGFD, a non-profit making organization aiming to bring natural eco-friendly funerals into the mainstream.