Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Private burials

Private burials

If you plan to have a burial on private land you should consult with your local council and the police in advance.

You need to choose a site carefully, and you should make sure that any site that you choose is:

  • At least 250m from any spring well or borehole used for drinking water
  • At least 50m from any other spring well or borehole
  • At least 50m from any watercourse
  • At least 10m from a field drain
  • Not above shallow mine workings
  • Not on Contaminated Land
  • Is not on a steep slope greater than or equal to 10’
  • Not in an area that is prone to flooding.

If bedrock is encountered in a trial pit, that area of the site should not be used for a burial.

The area of the site is not suitable for burial if there is standing water at the bottom of the burial pit when first dug.


If these criteria can be met then you may be able to carry out a private burial on your site. You must clearly mark the site of the burial and keep a record of its location.  

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