Rushcliffe Oaks Policies & Procedures document coverRushcliffe Oaks Policies and Procedures

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1. Introduction
2. Management of the Crematorium & Memorial Grounds
3. Opening Hours
4. Funerals
5. Cremation Paperwork
6. Music
7. Cremation Services
8. Bearing of the Coffin
9. Clothing & Coffin Content
10. Holding Over
11. Witnessed Charged Funerals
12. Coffin Construction
13. Recycling Metals
14. Disposal of Cremated Remains
15. Donations Collections
16. Floral Tributes & Flowers
16a. Releases
17. Memorialisation
18. Data Control
19. Amendments

1.     Introduction

1.1.      These policies and procedures have been drawn up to ensure that Rushcliffe Oaks is managed and utilised in a sensitive and appropriate fashion for everybody. These are communal spaces for quiet reflection and the remembrance of loved ones.

1.2.      Rushcliffe Oaks staff are available to assist and advise during office hours (see 3b), ensuring that information is available to the bereaved, Funeral Directors, officiants and other relevant persons, as well as members of the public.

1.3.      Rushcliffe Oaks welcomes all visitors to the crematorium and memorial grounds and asks that visitors respect the peace, dignity and reverence of these facilities and act with consideration for other users.

1.4.      The policies and procedures aim to balance the requirements of individuals with the maintenance of a safe and orderly environment, whilst also promoting good stewardship of the natural environment, both locally and more broadly.

1.5.      Rushcliffe Oaks has adopted the principles of the Charter for the Bereaved and is committed to providing each individual their rights as defined in the Charter. For further information please contact the Rushcliffe Oaks office.

2.     Management of the Crematorium & Memorial Grounds

2.1.      All persons within Rushcliffe Oaks shall conduct themselves in a decent, quiet and orderly manner.

2.2.      Visitors to Rushcliffe Oaks shall not unreasonably interrupt the duties of the staff or contractors, nor employ them to execute private work within the grounds, nor extend to them any gratuity.

2.3.      All complaints and requests by members of the public must be made to the Rushcliffe Oaks office and not to workers employed in the crematorium or memorial grounds.

2.4.      No dogs are permitted within the crematorium except assistance dogs. An exception can be made for pet dogs of the deceased or their immediate family where their presence at a service would be of special sentiment. Please contact the Rushcliffe Oaks office for confirmation before attendance.

2.5.      Dogs are permitted in the memorial grounds but must be kept on a lead at all times. Dog owners are expected to respect the dignity of the memorialisations.

2.6.      Children who are or appear to be under the age of 16 must be accompanied in the crematorium and memorial grounds by a responsible adult.

2.7.      No person other than Rushcliffe Oaks staff members shall sell or expose for sale any article, commodity, or item of any kind whatsoever, or solicit orders for the same, within the crematorium or memorial grounds except with explicit consent from the Crematorium Manager.

2.8.      Any person using a motor vehicle within the Rushcliffe Oaks premises shall do so only on a carriageway suited to the purpose. Vehicles must be driven with care and at an appropriately slow speed. Priority must be given to funeral vehicles and parking must not restrict access to other road users. No unauthorised vehicle may be left overnight within the Rushcliffe Oaks premises.

2.9.      No person shall drop, throw or otherwise deposit and leave in the crematorium or memorial grounds any wastepaper or litter of any kind except in the receptacles provided for the purpose.

2.10.    The capture of photographs, video or sound recordings within the crematorium shall be subject to the approval of the Crematorium Manager, who may demand production of an indemnity in the facility’s favour where it is proposed to record a private service.

2.11.    Smoking is entirely prohibited in both the buildings and the grounds of Rushcliffe Oaks. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes / vapes).

3.     Opening Hours

Access to the Rushcliffe Oaks premises is provided as follows:

3a.     Memorial Grounds

The memorial grounds are accessible by the public all year round. Access for vehicles is available during Office opening hours (as below), and also from 9.00am – 5.00pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and Bank Holidays.

3b.     Crematorium Office

Monday to Thursday (except Bank Holidays): 9.00am – 5.00pm.
Friday (except Bank Holidays): 9.00am - 4.30pm.

4.     Funerals

4.1.      All funerals shall be at the direction of Rushcliffe Oaks staff once the cortege enters the premises.

4.2.      Rushcliffe Oaks reserves the right to exclude from the premises any persons who are not mourners or persons directly involved with a funeral at the crematorium. Such a right may be exercised by the Crematorium Manager and/or their agents (including the Police). Rushcliffe Oaks also reserves the right to exclude any person causing a disturbance or using threatening behaviour.

4.3.      Rushcliffe Oaks may, at their discretion, postpone a funeral if it appears that the cortege is so delayed that other funerals may be disrupted, or at the reasonable request of the Applicant or funeral arranger. Rushcliffe Oaks shall specify the arrangements for carrying out the postponed funeral after consultation with the Applicant or Funeral Director’s representative. A late arrival fee will be applicable.

4.4.      The collection of charitable donations at a funeral is permissible under the management of the Applicant or Funeral Director. Rushcliffe Oaks bears no responsibility for donations collected on the premises.

4.5.      If the services of a Funeral Director are not being used a wheeled bier can be made available in the crematorium. The Applicant or Funeral Arranger will need to provide sufficient bearers to convey the coffin from the hearse into the Ceremony Hall in a dignified manner and place it onto the catafalque.

4.6.      The office should be notified in advance if it is known that a service will be a large gathering (100+), is running late, or if unusual modes of transport are expected (eg. horse-drawn cortege, buses, fire engines etc.) so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

5.     Cremation Paperwork

5.1.      Fully completed statutory and other required paperwork must be delivered to the office no later than three working days before the day of the funeral. Allowance can then be made for cases where the Applicant wishes to inspect the medical certificates. Any difficulties in providing the required paperwork on time should be communicated directly to the office. Late submission may incur a fee. The initial telephone or internet booking remains provisional until the office receives and checks the corresponding Rushcliffe Oaks Instruction form. Failure to comply may mean the cremation is postponed.

6.     Music

6.1.      All music, visual tributes, webcasting and recording requirements must be booked at least three working days before the service via It is advised to order music as soon as possible.

6.2.      Any music requests received late cannot be guaranteed, though we will endeavour to facilitate them.  Rushcliffe Oaks accepts no responsibility for incorrect music instructions received from the Funeral Director.

6.3.      Please note: If no music preferences have been received staff may select something they consider appropriate.

7.     Cremation Services

7.1.      All forms of religious or secular service are permitted in our Ceremony Hall. The duration of these is determined by the time and service type booked.

7.2.      The time appointed for a service corresponds to the point at which the funeral cortege should arrive at the crematorium.

7.3.      Service allocations are available every weekday excluding Public Holidays. Saturday allocations may also be made available between 9.30am and 1.30pm at the Crematorium Manager’s discretion, with correspondingly appropriate adjustments to charges.

7.4.      Cremations shall be carried out in accordance with all statutory legislation and the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities’ (FBCA) Code of Cremation Practice.

7.5.      No cremation shall take place except on the written authority of the Medical Referee and the preparation of Authority to Cremate by Rushcliffe Oaks.

7a.     Full Service / Committal

7a.1.    Use of the crematorium for a Full Service or Committal is allocated for a period of one hour. This includes time taken for mourners to enter and exit and allows for a service time of up to a maximum of 45 minutes in the Ceremony Hall. If a longer service is required additional time in the Ceremony Hall will need to be booked in advance. Weekday Full Service allocations commence at 9.30am, 10.45am, 12.00pm, 1.15pm, 2.30pm and 3.45pm, though allocations may be blocked at the Crematorium Manager’s discretion.

7b.     Early Service

7b.1.    The 9.30am weekday Full Service allocation is classified as an Early Service allocation.

7c.     Direct Cremation

7c.1.    Funeral Directors may book a Direct Cremation allocation by notifying the Rushcliffe Oaks office and agreeing with the office a suitable date and time.

7c.2.    Direct Cremations will only be accepted subject to adherence to the following:

7c.3.    Rushcliffe Oaks reserves the right to refuse any coffin if staff feel the standards of care and dignity as laid out in 7c.2. above are not met.

7d.     Reduced Committal

7d.1.    Please note the reduced committal service option has now been discontinued.

8.     Bearing of the Coffin

8.1.      Responsibility of whether to bear in the coffin or use an appropriate trolley or wheeled bier lies with the Funeral Director. It is the Funeral Director’s responsibility to provide sufficient bearers to place the coffin on the catafalque without assistance from Rushcliffe Oaks staff. Health and Safety and Manual Handling considerations are a priority and the Funeral Director is responsible for carrying appropriate risk assessments prior to arrival at the crematorium.

8.2.      Use of Rushcliffe Oaks’ trolley or wheeled bier is permitted by agreement of the Rushcliffe Oaks office. It remains the Funeral Director’s responsibility to ensure the trolley or bier is suitable for the safe and dignified conveyance of the coffin.

9.     Clothing & Coffin Content

9.1.      In order to minimise the release of pollutants to air, where possible, any prostheses should be removed from the deceased.

9.2.      Glass, ceramics, or any other such substances should not be placed within the coffin.

9.3.      Footwear or any material manufactured from polyvinyl-chloride (PVC) should also not be placed in the coffin.

9.4.      Body adornments made from copper should be removed from the deceased, as should casts made from plaster or any other material.

9.5.      Heart pacemakers and other implanted medical devices must be removed from the deceased prior to arrival at the crematorium.

10.   Holding Over

10.1.    Rushcliffe Oaks is a member of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) and adheres to the joint guidance on holding over issued by the ICCM, FBCA, APCC and CSGB. ‘Holding over’ is the retention of a coffin for a period of time after the cremation service. The practice of holding over is common throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

10.2.    Rushcliffe Oaks will not hold over where the Applicant insists on the cremation being carried out on the day that the coffin is received at the crematorium and/or the service takes place. A written request to this effect must be made to Rushcliffe Oaks no later than three working days prior to the service taking place.

10.3.    Direct Cremations with a non-hold over request must be received by Rushcliffe Oaks no later than 8.45am.

10.4.    Written consent will be obtained from the Applicant or their authorised representative for Rushcliffe Oaks to practise any planned holding over.

10.5.    If holding over becomes additionally necessary due to mechanical failure during normal operating hours then Rushcliffe Oaks will inform the Applicant via the Funeral Director and either gain consent to hold over until the fault is repaired or to allow for the cremation to take place at an alternative crematorium. If this situation occurs outside normal operating hours and it is considered impracticable to obtain the consent of the Applicant, holding over may be arranged as a temporary solution.

10.6.    Rushcliffe Oaks has suitable storage conditions for extended holding over, but the maximum period for which holding over may normally occur is 72 hours after receipt of the coffin at the crematorium.

11.   Witnessed Charged Funerals

11.1.    Representatives of the deceased may, by prior arrangement, witness the coffin being placed into the cremator chamber. The maximum viewing capacity of the witnessing room is approximately ten persons.

11.2.    Rushcliffe Oaks must be informed of the wish for a witnessed charge at the point of booking of the cremation to ensure staff have time to make the necessary preparations to facilitate this provision. A surcharge applies for witnessed charges accommodated into the 60 minutes of a Full Service allocation. If the funeral service, witnessed charging and egress from the Ceremony Hall cannot be guaranteed within the 60 minutes of a Full Service allocation, additional time in the Ceremony Hall must be booked.

11.3.  Witnessed charges are preferred to be the first service of the day but are available at other times at the Crematorium Manager’s discretion. Please contact the Rushcliffe Oaks office for further details.

11.4.    Witnesses must, at all times, follow the instructions of the Rushcliffe Oaks staff or proceedings may be halted.

12.   Coffin Construction

12.1.    The maximum permitted weight of the coffin, including all fittings, is 40 stone (254kg).

12.2.    The maximum dimensions of the coffin, including all fittings, is 84” long and 30” wide by 23½” high OR 39” wide by 20½” high.

12.3.    The coffin must be made of wood or a wood by-product which, when placed in the cremator and subjected to the accepted cremation process, is easily combustible and 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-epichlorohydrin basin resin) (PAA-E). External coatings to a coffin must allow for smokeless combustion and the use of nitro-cellose varnish, polyurethane, melamine and any products containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC) must not be used. 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 the coffin. The exception to the foregoing is the use of polystyrene, which is restricted to the coffin name plate only, and this must not exceed 90g in weight.

12.4.    Zinc- or lead-lined coffins will not be accepted for cremation. Packaging for stillbirth, neonatal and foetal remains must not include any chlorinated plastics.

12.5.    The use of sawdust, cotton-wool or shredded paper must be avoided. If circumstances require, suitable sealing material may be used, but no metal, rubber or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) will be permitted and on no account must pitch or similar substance be used.

12.6.    We do not accept banana-leaf or sea-grass coffins.

13.   Recycling Metals

13.1.    Rushcliffe Oaks participates in a nationwide scheme to sensitively recycle residual metal as prescribed by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM). All surplus monies derived from the recycling scheme will be distributed amongst selected charities. Metal residues from the cremation process will be sent to be recycled unless otherwise stated on the Rushcliffe Oaks Instruction form for the funeral.

14.   Disposal of Cremated Remains

14.1.    Responsibility for the disposal of cremated remains lies with the Applicant or person with written authorisation to act on behalf of the Applicant. Rushcliffe Oaks will act in accordance with the written instructions of the Applicant on the statutory cremation forms.

14.2.    Cremated remains that are to be removed from the crematorium shall only be collected by the Applicant or a person nominated by the Applicant, including the Funeral Director. Any alteration to the original instruction must be confirmed by the Applicant, in writing and signed, before Rushcliffe Oaks has carried out the original instruction.

14.3.    Cremated remains may only be removed in a container deemed by Rushcliffe Oaks to be suitable for that purpose.

14.4.    Collection of cremated remains by Funeral Directors or the Applicant or nominated person should be within the opening hours of the Rushcliffe Oaks office.

14.5.    Cremated remains will be retained at Rushcliffe Oaks free of charge for no longer than three months after cremation. Cremated remains may be stored for a longer period by prior arrangement and after payment of the appropriate fee. On the approach to expiry of this period, or the longer arranged period, if no further arrangements have been made for removal Rushcliffe Oaks will request instructions from the Applicant. If no instructions are received within the timeframe specified in the current Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008 (14 days), the uncollected remains will be scattered in the memorial grounds at Rushcliffe Oaks, with the location of scattering recorded.

14.6.    Unwitnessed scatterings of cremated remains will take place no sooner than 14 days after cremation. Unwitnessed scatterings of cremated remains where the cremation took place at Rushcliffe Oaks will incur no additional charge.

14.7.    The Applicant may make an appointment to witness the scattering of cremated remains for an additional charge. All such scatterings must take place during normal Rushcliffe Oaks office opening hours and in the presence of a Rushcliffe Oaks member of staff.

14.8.    Where a cremation took place at another crematorium, the cremated remains, Certificate of Cremation, and appropriate payment must be delivered to the Rushcliffe Oaks office, along with appropriate written authorisation from the Applicant before a scattering can take place.

14.9.    For details of interment options for cremated remains please see our Memorialisations documentation or contact the Rushcliffe Oaks office.

15.   Donations Collections

15.1.    Rushcliffe Oaks can provide a donations collection box for each service at the request of the funeral organiser (Funeral Director or Applicant), but it is the responsibility of the funeral organiser to retrieve all donations at the end of the service. Rushcliffe Oaks will not process or be responsible for any donations.

16.   Floral Tributes & Flowers

16.1.    No artificial flowers of any kind (including wreaths) are permitted in the Rushcliffe Oaks grounds. An exception is made solely for Remembrance Day.

16.2.    Following a funeral service floral tributes should be placed in front of the appropriately named stand in the Flower Court outside the exit of the Ceremony Hall. Any tributes left elsewhere will be removed.

16.3.    Rushcliffe Oaks encourages all Applicants and Funeral Directors to take tributes away after a service.

16.4.    Remaining tributes will be moved at the end of the working day to be displayed within the memorial grounds, generally for a minimum of three working days. After this time they will be assessed for disposal, taking into account natural decay, effects of weather and the activity of wildlife. Where possible, natural materials will be removed for repurposing or composting and plastics for recycling.

16.5.    On special occasions (Mothering Sunday, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter Sunday, Remembrance Day and Christmas) exemptions may be made to allow the display of tributes for longer periods at the Crematorium Manager’s discretion.

16.6.    Please note: We accept no responsibility for tributes left within the grounds. However, Rushcliffe Oaks does reserve the right at any time to remove, without notice, any flowers, plants or tributes that are deemed to have deteriorated, been damaged or become unsightly.

16.7.    Cut flowers, without wrappers or bindings, may be left on site.

16.8.    Receptacles for flowers placed on or formed in the ground are not permitted. Such items will be removed and/or filled immediately.

16.9.    Rushcliffe Oaks has a structured grounds maintenance programme. The private planting of trees, plants, shrubs and bulbs is prohibited. Any such planted items will be removed and appropriately replanted within the Borough of Rushcliffe where feasible.

16a.   Releases

16a.1.    In line with our attention to being good stewards of the natural environment, Rushcliffe Oaks does not permit the release of doves, butterflies, or other animal life, or of balloons, floating lanterns or similar as part of or after a funeral service.

17.   Memorialisation

17.1.    A range of memorialisation options are available to be purchased in accordance with the Rushcliffe Oaks policies and fees applicable at the time. Please contact the Rushcliffe Oaks office for more details.

17.2.    Only memorials purchased directly from and fitted by Rushcliffe Oaks will be permitted in the memorial grounds.

17.3.    The placing of personalised memorabilia (including, but not limited to: wind chimes; balloons; wooden crosses; ornaments; toys etc.) in the memorial grounds, including placed on or attached to any benches, is not permitted and any such items will be removed by Rushcliffe Oaks without notice.

17.4.    No glass or plastic ornamentations of any kind are permitted within the memorial grounds. Any such items will be considered a safety or environmental hazard and immediately removed by Rushcliffe Oaks without notice.

17.5.    Rushcliffe Oaks does not accept responsibility for any items left within the memorial grounds. Items are left entirely at your own risk.

18.   Data Control

18.1.    Your privacy is very important to Rushcliffe Oaks. We are committed to respecting and protecting your privacy during all interactions with Rushcliffe Oaks staff and during all use of the Rushcliffe Oaks facilities and services.

18.2.    You can view our privacy notice on our website, which can be found at

19.   Amendments

19.1.    Please be aware that Rushcliffe Oaks reserves the right to amend these policies and procedures whenever it deems necessary and that compliance with any changes is requested.