Craven District Council

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Craven District Council

Cremation Policies

Policies and Guidlines

As the Government's Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines change, we will review the restrictions in place at the Crematorium and Cemetery and the amount of mourners we can accommodate within the chapel for cremation and burial services.

The capacity within the chapel is currently 15 attendees in order to comply with the governments 2 metre social distancing. We are further permitting 15 attendees outside the chapel. Allowing 30 attendees to a service.  

We kindly ask that you still adhere to guidance regarding social distancing, please do not attend if you are showing any signs of Covid 19.

Our webcasting service, which is available up to 28 days after the service, is available for all chapel services, please contact the family and their Funeral Director for more information.

Our Book of Remembrance Chapel is open as usual. 

We sincerely apologise for any distress this will cause however, we have a duty of care to everyone attending our services and the staff working at the crematorium.

From January 2021, the amount of mourners attending a commemorative event, such as scattering/interment of ashes or a wake, has been decreased to six persons, all of whom must social distance correctly and follow the correct legislation. Families visiting their loved ones' resting places within our cemeteries must abide by the 'rule of six' regulations. 

Government guidance confirms that people living within a very high category area are able to travel to a funeral within a different Covid alert level.

Craven District Council’s Bereavement Services can be contacted on 01756 796118 or

Craven District Council is a full member of the Federation of British Cremation Authorities and operates under their strict code of practice.

The crematorium team are qualified and skilled in the process of cremation and ensure all cremations are undertaken in accordance with the industry code of practice.

Environmental Impact

In accordance with industry guiding principles on Cremation, Craven District Council’s policy allows for the holding over of cremations, principally to contribute to the reduction of harmful emissions. 

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuels is emitted from cremators during  the cremation process. The CO2 emissions are harmful to the environment and are at their highest when a cremator is in pre-heat mode. In order to ensure that cremators are used in the most efficient and least environmentally detrimental way. We have decided not to cremate on the same day as the coffin is received and/or the funeral is held with the applicants consent.

For more information please see the ICCMs holding over policy.

Guidelines to help the reduction of emissions

The coffin must be made of a suitable material which, when placed in a cremator and subjected to the cremation process, is easily combustible and which does not emit smoke, give off toxic gas or leave any retardant smears or drips after final combustion. No metal of any kind shall be used in the manufacture of such coffin except as necessary for its safe construction and then only metal of a high ferrous content. Cross pieces must not be attached to the bottom of the coffin. If it is desired to strengthen the bottom of the coffin, wooden strips may be placed lengthways for this purpose.

Cardboard coffins should not contain chlorine in the wet strength agent. (e.g. not using polyamidoamine-epichlorhydrin based resin (PAA-E).

Coffin furniture and fitting

No metal furniture or fittings whatever shall be used on a coffin for cremation. Coffin handles should be free from unnecessary metal components. External coatings to a coffin must allow for smokeless combustion and the use of nitro-cellulose varnish, polyurethane, melamine and any products containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or melamine must not be used in coffin construction or furnishings. Water based lacquer free from additives containing heavy metals may be used for coating a coffin or a suitable cloth may be used for covering a coffin. The exception to the foregoing is the use of polystyrene which is restricted to the coffin nameplate only and this must not exceed 90 grams in weight.

Lining of the coffin

The use of saw dust, cotton wool or shredded paper within a coffin must be avoided. If lining of a coffin is necessary, this should be manufactured from polythene not exceeding 75 microns in thickness. Lead or zinc linings must not be used. The use of shredded paper within a coffin is not permitted.

Clothing and coffin content

In order to minimise the release of pollutants to air, it is recommended that clothing should be of natural fibres and that shoes or any material manufactured from PVC should not be included. Body adornments manufactured from copper should be removed as should any easily removable prostheses or casts of plaster or other material. Additional items, particularly of glass or plastic, should not be placed within the coffin.

Metal Recycling

Metal Recycling is carried out at Skipton Crematorium in accordance with the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) guidelines.  We seek consent for the sensitive recycling of metals after cremation.  All metal residues from the cremation process are sent to be recycled unless otherwise stated on the application form.  Monies raised from the recycled metals are donated to local or national death related charities in the UK.

You can read more on this in our booklet Recycling of metals after Cremation.

Information on Embalming

What is embalming?

Historically, the process is identified with the Egyptians and the mummification of bodies, whose beliefs required them to preserve their leaders.

Embalming is defined as the preservation of a body from decay through arterial injection of embalming fluid.

The process of embalming has three main aims:

  • Preservation of the body – Embalming helps to maintain the deceased in as good a condition as possible during the period between death and the funeral. For those wishing to visit their loved one in the chapel of rest, this will make the experience as pleasant as possible during these difficult circumstances.
  • Presentation – The Funeral Director will always lay out the deceased looking as presentable as possible to give families the best possible final memory of their loved one. Embalming greatly improves the look of the deceased and aids Funeral Directors in the presentation.
  • Protection – This comes from the embalming process by way of the fact the body is hygienically treated and this kills bacteria and viruses. Therefore reducing the risk of cross infection with family and friends if they come to visit their loved ones in the Chapel of Rest, as well as Funeral Directors and staff.


Environmental Issues 

Some burial schemes, such as woodland burial, may prohibit the use of chemicals and as well as horticulture chemicals. Although research into the effects of embalming fluid on soil organisms and air quality is limited, environmentalists will generally disapprove of embalming.

Those who have concerns over the effects of embalming and the environment have the right to stipulate that this is not carried out.

Do you have a choice?

You should reasonably expect to be informed about the embalming process. There is no legal requirement for embalming to take place.

If you are opposed to embalming, it may be advisable to expressly forbid it.

More information can be found under the Charter for the Bereaved.

Infant Cremation

The ICCMs Joint Policy Statement on Infant Cremation (England/Wales) can be found here: Policy Statement for Infant Cremation.  This policy is carefully adhered to and always has been.

We have ensured there are various sections of the cemetery available for parents to lay their babies to rest. This includes a new section known as the Angels Garden.

There are various memorial options available to commemorate your baby. Please see our page on Beautiful Memorials to remember your loved ones.

Charter rights on Baby and Infant Funerals.

SANDS offer support for bereaved parents who have lost a baby. The following may be of some comfort and support.

SANDS - Saying Goodbye to your Baby  

SANDS Website