Andy Clayden

Andy Clayden

I am a Landscape Architect and senior lecturer in the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield.    I first became interested in natural burial about fifteen years ago when one of my students had chosen to design a natural burial ground for his final design project. This project challenged so many of my understandings of what a burial landscape could be and how the identity of the deceased might be preserved in ways other than a headstone.  After this first insight into natural or woodland burial, as it was then commonly referred to, I started to take more of an interest by visiting different burial grounds and speaking with burial ground managers and owners.  What immediately became apparent was the many different ways in which natural burial was being interpreted, for example burial into existing woodland, or wildflower meadows or the creation of new woodland.  Another striking feature of natural burial was the different backgrounds of the people who were providing these new burial landscapes which were no longer confined to the Church or Local Authority.  They included: farmers, funeral directors, landowners and charitable trusts.  In order to research this significant change in how we care for the deceased I am working with my colleague Professor Jenny Hockey from the department of Sociological Studies and Dr Trish Green who is a sociologist and research associate.

Relevant publications:

Clayden, A. & Dixon, A. (2007) Woodland Burial: Memorial arboretum versus natural native woodland? Mortality Vol 12  No3. 240-26    
Clayden, A. (2004) Natural burial, British style. Landscape Architecture Vol 94:5 68-77
Clayden, A.  (2003) Woodland Burial, Landscape Design Vol 322, 22-25