Group concerned over the future of natural burial site

Volunteers concerned about the future of The Natural Burial Ground at the Thatched Cottage, Sutterton. L-R Ida Bouwhuis, Alan Burton and Ray O'Brien.
Volunteers concerned about the future of The Natural Burial Ground at the Thatched Cottage, Sutterton. L-R Ida Bouwhuis, Alan Burton and Ray O'Brien.

The MP for Boston has thrown his support behind a group concerned over the care of their loved ones’ burial site who are hoping to secure its future with a committee.

The Thatched Cottage, which has the Sutterton Natural Burial Ground attached to it, was repossessed and put up for sale in January and has since twice gone up for auction at £425,000 and £300,000.

It is due to go under the hammer again on Friday, for £100,000.

Concerned over the future of the 1.5 acre site, volunteer Ray O’Brien along with other volunteers have been trying to identify where graves are and clear them and identify plots which have been paid for to allow access for any future burials.

Mr O’Brien told The Standard that since being repossessed ‘the site has been left to nature and is hugely overgrown’.

He said: “The situation is that the site has been left to run down and a small band of volunteers are helping to cut back the undergrowth, hedges. tree’s etc in order to retrieve the now overgrown graves and plots.”

The volunteers would now like to form a committee, along with relatives of the deceased and any plot owners to secure the sites future.

The hope is to contact authorities such as Boston Borough and Sutterton Parish Councils, local mp’s and others.

They believe Boston Borough Council has a ‘moral obligation’ to care for the site since they were the authority which approved it.

Mr O’Brien said: “All we are looking for is assurance of upkeep of the site into the future just as you would expect from any other site.”

Matt Warman, the MP for Boston and Skegness told The Standard he would welcome hearing from the group at any time.

He said: I know how important the natural burial ground is for those who have loved ones buried there, or who have bought a plot to be laid to rest there, and the land being put up for auction again brings uncertainty for them.

“I would certainly be pleased to do what I can to support the committee campaigning on the future of Sutterton Natural Burial Ground, and help to ensure that the site is safeguarded for all those who want to visit or use it.”

The building is a detached Grade II listed building on a 7.5 acre site.

Part of the site (approximately 1.5 acres) is designated as a green burial ground. There is also an external farm shop and a store.

The property was repossessed by Capital Home Loans and put on the market in January for £425,000. Another attempt to auction it off for £300,000 was made on July 22.

Marion and Bob Lowrie had plans for the burial site – which includes 500 plots at a depth of 4ft – approved in April 2013.

Now, property consultancy and auctioneers, Allsop, have their next residential auction on Friday.A spokesperson from Allsop said: “Buyers of the cottage are made aware of the burial plot in the legal pack, which they can download from our website.

“We always recommend that auction buyers conduct due diligence before a purchase and that if they have any questions on planning or other issues that they contact the vendor’s solicitor.

Boston Borough Council did not wish to make a comment.

No-one from Sutterton Parish Council was available at the time of contact.

For more information about the Thatched Cottage and the auction visit