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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 November 2007, 12:49 GMT
New eco-friendly cemetery opens
The burial site will feature trees instead of headstones
The first environmentally-friendly woodland burial site has been consecrated in the Forth Valley.

The new 40,000 cemetery in Killearn, in rural Stirling, will have 700 lairs and will not feature headstones.

Only coffins made of biodegradable material like cardboard and wicker will be used for burials.

Stirling Council said the site, which is set within a hectare of land next to the town's existing cemetery, met growing demands for natural burials.

The consecration was carried out by representatives from Christian faith groups and the Humanist Society.

'Resting place'

The local authority said the woodland burial site would not look like a traditional neat and regimented cemetery but would become natural woodland to blend with the surrounding countryside.

In place of headstones families will be given a choice from five native species of tree that can be planted near the grave.

The area's grass meadow will be cut infrequently to encourage the growth of Scottish wild flowers, wildlife and fauna.

Councillor Graham Reed, who attended the consecration, said: "This eco-friendly alternative type of burial is available to individuals and families looking for a resting place which becomes a natural part of the environment and enhances bio-diversity and local wildlife."

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