Speeton Village Association find unusual way to fund village amenities

Members of Speeton Village Association outside St Leonard's Church
Members of Speeton Village Association outside St Leonard's Church

The village of Speeton, near Filey has found an unusual way of supporting village amenities - a natural burial ground.

The site of the burial ground, a three acre hay meadow set close to the Headland Way, occupies an enviable position on the cliffs overlooking Filey Bay to the north and Bempton Cliffs to the south.

Speeton Natural Burial Ground

Speeton Natural Burial Ground

The meadow is made up of permanent grassland, with wild flowers and grasses changing with the seasons.

This habitat attracts lots of different insects, birds and wildlife and will be grazed by sheep when required.

Burials will take place in biodegradable coffins with a small grave marker at the site of the burial. Natural flowers only (no artificial) and the planting of wild flower seeds will keep the areas natural beauty intact.

Access to the site is from the public footpath next to St Leonard’s Church, where funeral services may be held if required.

Speeton resident Ken Willey views the site

Speeton resident Ken Willey views the site

Peter Spaven, a member of Speeton Village Assocation (SVA) and church warden, said: “It’s good for Speeton. The burial ground is open to people of all faiths, to anyone who wants to be buried in this way, they don’t have to use the church.

“The thing people don’t realise is the selflessness of the people that have donated the land, the community spirit. They’ve put lots of hard work in to get this through. It’s very much appreciated.”

Julia Rogerson, also a member of SVA, said: “ It has taken almost three years to get all of the necessary consents, we’ve had to have land surveys to check for drainage pipes and things like that.

“We’ve been very lucky and taken a lot of advice from Rufforth Natural Burial Ground who have been very helpful.”

View from the burial ground on a brighter day.

View from the burial ground on a brighter day.

The site is limited to just 15 burials a year and funds raised from the burials will support village amenities such as the playground and church.

It is open to both local people and those from further afield.

To find out more, or to reserve a plot, contact Speeton Village Association by emailing speeton.village.association@gmail.com.