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Cemetery Rules and Regulations

Ash Parish Council welcomes all visitors to the Cemetery and you are asked to respect the peace and dignity of the facility. Children should be kept under supervision and dogs must be kept on a lead, owners must clear up any dog fouling and place in the dog litter bins where provided.

Applications for Interment

All applications are to be submitted to Ash Parish Council a minimum of 72 hours prior to the interment with the exception of bricked and vaulted graves, subject to availability, applications must be submitted a minimum of 14 days prior to the interment. All applications received MUST be signed by the registered owner of the exclusive right of burial. Should the owner be deceased, the applicant must contact the Clerk of the Council prior to the interment taking place in order to effect a transfer of ownership.

Purchase of Exclusive Right Of Burial

‘Right of Burial’ may be purchased at the time of the interment on payment of the appropriate fee. ‘Right’ is granted for a term of 50 years. The Exclusive Right entitles the deed-holder to determine who is buried in the grave and whether a memorial can be installed (subject to the payment of the relevant fee and permission from the Parish Council being granted). All requests for transfers of Exclusive Right must be in writing to Ash Parish Council together with payment of the relevant administration fee. You may be required to demonstrate your right to have the grave transferred into your name.

For bricked and vaulted graves it is necessary for the Exclusive Rights to four adjacent grave spaces to be purchased.

Special regulations and charges relate to the use of coffins/caskets where the size in excess of 1980mm in length and 710mm in width.

Please Note: The owner of the Exclusive Rights is responsible for advising the Parish Council of any change of address. Failure to notify us of a new address may result in any remedial action required in respect of the grave plot, or any memorial installed on the plot, having to be taken without reference to the owner of the Exclusive Right.

In very exceptional circumstances Ash Parish Council, may be prepared to buy back the Exclusive Right of Burial providing the grave space has not been used for any interment. Any application to the Council for the surrender of a grave space will be considered by the appropriate committee and any decision is at the committee’s discretion. Any refund will be based on the sum paid at the time of purchase, irrespective of current cemetery fees, and will incur a 10% administration fee or £100 whichever is the greater.

Common Graves

Should the Exclusive Right not be purchased at the time of the interment Ash Parish Council reserves the right to determine the initial depth of the grave is 1980mm. Any subsequent interment in that grave space will be at 1370mm.

Grave Depths

The Local Authority Cemeteries Order Act 1977 states that 915mm of soil has to be between the top of the last coffin interred and the ground level (for an average coffin being 380mm in height). For double depth graves 150mm of soil is to be left between each coffin.

New grave opening depth: 1980mm.
Second internment depth: 1370mm.
Child’s grave depth: 1370mm.


Headstones shall not exceed 1220mm.
Kerb Sets must not exceed 2135mm x 915mm.
Under Slabs must not exceed 2135mm x 915mm and must include any walkway.

Special rules and sizes apply for memorials to be installed over bricked vaulted graves/extra length graves/double width memorials – please contact the Parish Council for further details.

Any “Exclusive Right” deedholder who wishes to erect a memorial in the cemetery must first obtain permission in writing from Ash Parish Council. The application must show a drawing or illustration of the design, dimensions, full constructional details (for checking against the NAMM Code of Practice) materials to be used and any inscription required. Where memorials or kerb sets are erected that are not in compliance with these directives, the Council reserve the right to remove such items and all costs incurred will be charged to the “Exclusive Right” deed holder. Subsequent additions of kerb sets or additional memorial items must be applied for as above.

Monumental Mason’s names, signs or marks may be inscribed on any memorial item provided their appearance is seemly and unobtrusive having regard to the memorial as a whole. Every memorial erected or placed in the cemetery shall bear the grave space number on the back face or base.

Memorials shall be constructed of granite, marble, slate or other hard natural stone of monumental quality.

All memorials MUST be erected in accordance with BS8415 (or any such new regulation that is introduced herein after) and the National Association of Monumental Masons (NAMM) Code of Practice. Ash Parish Council reserves the right to refuse permission for the installation of any memorial where the fixing method does not comply with current guidelines.

All memorials remain the property and responsibility of the “Exclusive Right” owner. Ash Parish Council shall not be responsible for any damage or breakage which may occur to any memorial through any cause whatsoever ie vandalism, storm damage etc. Owners should consider insurance for their memorials. The memorial owner has a responsibility to maintain their memorial.
The Health and Safety Executive are concerned about the danger posed by unstable memorials and would expect that burial authorities inspect and test stability of all memorials in their cemeteries, and if necessary lay down any unsafe memorials pending repair being arranged by the owner. Ash Parish Council has initiated a programme of stability testing and will be taking any action required to make a memorial safe. Permission to re-erect an unsafe memorial will only be issed when the Parish Council is satisfied that the work will be carried out in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by NAMM. Purchasers of new memorials are strongly advised to use only those masons that confirm, in writing, that they will erect a memorial in accordance with the NAMM code of practice.

At some point in the future the Parish Council will embrace the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons Scheme (BRAMM) and will only permit registered masons to work in the cemetery. At this time all new grave owners will be informed that they may only employ a registered memorial mason.

Section P – (Poppy) Ashes Section

The whole of this section shall be kept flat and the grass will be mown by the Council’s Staff. Memorial Items are allowed, subject to the prior approval of the Parish Council and a Permit for Erection being issued, but the Plot will be limited to one flat plaque (maximum 18″ x 18″) and/or vase. Kerb or border stones will not be allowed. All memorial items should be of natural quarried stone.

Flowers and Plants

Only permitted flower receptacles are allowed in the Cemetery. Under no circumstances should glass containers be used.

The Council reserves the right to remove, and dispose of, deteriorated floral tributes and any other unauthorised articles such as fences, ornaments etc that are not an integral part of the memorial.


Garden of Remembrance

Permitted memorials will have a maximum size of 460mm x 460mm and must be flat tablets. Permitted flower receptacles only are allowed and indiscriminate planting in the ground is not permitted. Unauthorised ornaments and articles as mentioned above will not be permitted.

Cremated Remains

Caskets of ashes may be interred within the Garden of Remembrance, or in a conventional grave in the cemetery where the ‘Exclusive Right’ has been purchased, or in Columbaria Vaults. There is no facility for ‘scattering’ ashes.

Cremated remains may only be interred in grave spaces where “Exclusive Rights” exist on receipt of the written permission of the registered owner of the grave.

“Exclusive Rights” to deposit ashes in Columbaria Vaults are available for 30 year terms, which are renewable. Where Rights are not renewed at the end of the term, and after attempts to trace family members, ashes will be interred in an area designated within the Garden of Remembrance for such interments.

Wall Memorial Plaques

Wall memorial plaques may be purchased on a 10 year term which is renewable. Where the right is not renewed and after attempts to trace the owner, the plaque will be removed.

Memorial Trees

Memorial Trees and accompanying plaques may be purchased from Ash Parish Council for planting in an Avenue of Remembrance within the cemetery.


Fees for all cemetery services will be determined by the Council annually to take effect from 1st April each year.

In determining whether fees chargeable are at Parishioner or Non-Parishioner rate the following will apply:-

The last permanent address of the deceased will be used. If a long-term resident of Ash has been accommodated in a residential care/nursing home outside the Parish within the year immediately prior to the date of death, the rate charged will be that of a parishioner.


Grass Cutting and Maintenance Work

This will be carried out by Ash Parish Council and the frequency will be determined by weather conditions. Individual maintenance of grave spaces is the responsibility of owners. The Council reserves the right to carry out levelling or in-filling on grave spaces where this becomes necessary.

The Council will reinstate subsided graves over a period of time following internment and will lay new turf when natural settlement of the ground has ceased. Owners are reminded not to plant this area of the grave, as plants will be removed to allow reinstatment work. Your co-operation is requested in respect of this item.

Litter and Rubbish

Litter bins are situated around the Cemetery and should be used to dispose of all rubbish.
Wreaths and floral tributes from recent funerals should be removed when they have deteriorated.


A water supply is available in the Cemetery. Watering cans are provided. Visitors are asked not to use pesticides or insecticides when watering. The water supply may be turned off to avoid frozen pipes or during drought conditions.


Various seats have been provided in the cemetery for visitors to use.

Memorial Benches

All benches being placed in the cemetery should conform to a standard size and design and must be approved by Ash Parish Council. Benches shall only be placed at locations within the cemetery agreed with the Council’s representative. Applications must be made to the Council in writing.

Benches must be seated on a solid base and if necessary anchored securely. The base must be installed by the Council’s own ground staff at an agreed cost. All benches must be safe to use, as the cemetery is a public space, and must be maintained and kept in a safe and acceptable condition. Any replacement of a bench must be agreed with the Council in writing. Warning will be given by the Council of any unacceptable deterioration in condition and 30 days, or an alternative period of time agreed in writing with the Council, will be allowed for rectification work to be undertaken or for the bench to be removed. After this period the permit will be deemed to have expired and the bench will be removed and disposed of without further warning.

From 1st July 2012 permission will only be given to position memorial benches adjacent to designated pathways. Permission will not be given to position a bench on a grave space even if the Exclusive Right of Burial has been purchased. Benches must not be placed between burial plots.

For any bench placed in the Cemetery without authorisation the Council reserve the right to remove it to a designated pathway. In the event of a bench being repeatedly placed on a plot without authorisation, Ash Parish Council has the right to remove the bench from the cemetery on a permanent basis and will not be responsible for any costs incurred.

The Council will not be held responsible for any damage or theft to the benches.

To print a pdf version of the Cemetery Rules and Regulations that can be signed and returned to Ash Parish Council please click here.