Ours to Protect

Ep 51 - Eco Burials

Ep 51 - Eco Burials

What better way to mark the end of our series Ours to Protect than by discussing… The End.

Orla visits a green graveyard in Co. Wexford and talks to a man producing a more environmentally friendly coffin. 

Did you know? Green Graveyard Company 

The South East region is home to Ireland's first - and only - natural burial ground.


The Green Graveyard Company is located at the foothills of the Blackstairs Mountains in Killiane, Co. Wexford. They offer a final resting place surrounded by nature - with no headstone - where you choose to be buried in a site to help aid wildlife conservation.

They offer: 

  • A tranquil burial ground where mourners can come and sit, surrounded by nature, to remember their loved ones.
  • They cater to all religions and those without religion.
  • You get the choice to use your final resting space as an aid to wildlife conservation.
  • Those left behind can enjoy the newly created wildlife sanctuary where life goes on and memories linger.
  • No stone,s plastic, trinkets or toys can be left in the burial ground. 

Since it opened 15 years ago, Woodbrook Natural Burial Ground has become a beautiful, tranquil, and peaceful final resting place chosen by people from all over Ireland and beyond. With ashes and full burial plots available, ensure people receive the required burial option.

In its most simplistic form, a natural burial ground is a graveyard where the land has a second use, as a living, developing native Irish woodland and wildflower meadow. Gone are the marble headstones and concrete surrounds that are commonplace in other Irish burial grounds, replaced instead by a small simple grave marker and the planting of a native Irish tree.


Caretaker Niall Deacon spoke to Orla all about the service and said that people from Germany, Japan, and Mexico have made this their final resting place. Niall said “It’s all based on how small a footprint have you got on the planet. The grave here is only four feet deep. You plant a tree on it and that burial will eventually nourish that tree.” 

Collin McIntyre established The Green Graveyard Company in 2009. Based in County Donegal, as well as Wexford, Niall manufactures an environmentally friendly coffin. 

“I suppose the traditional coffin is made of chipboard and vinyl or it is a hardwood coffin. The vinyl coffins would be full of glue, etc, which are full of formaldehyde”.  

It’s understood that a lot of the hardwood coffins used in Ireland are made from Oak which is imported. 


Collin has a full-time weaving team making eco-friendly coffins out of a variety of materials such as willow, wicker ande ven cardboard. He says “In terms of the environmental coffins that we supply some people get them for the environmental aspect but in reality, they are opted for because they look less scary. They feel it’s nicer and somebody took the time to handcraft something for them for their final journey.” 

For more information visit: www.greengraveyard.com


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Ours to Protect is funded by Coimisiún na Meán with the Television Licence Fee.

This project is a partnership between Beat 102 103 and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland.

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