Sean McAteer shows wicker urns and cardboard and wicker caskets at Woodbrook Natural Burial Ground near Killanne Co Wexford

Over 100 plots at the seven-acre plot of the Woodbrook Natural Burial Ground near the village of Killane, County Wexford have already been sold before the gates open this week.

The new green cemetery will hold about 5,000 plots and each grave will be marked by the planting of a native Irish tree rather than a headstone.

Colin McAteer, owner of the Green Graveyard Company said the coffins will be made for papier-mâché and bamboo along with other environmentally friendly materials such as willow, cardboard, bamboo and banana leaf.

The idea is that the cemetery will act as a wildlife haven. Rather than having manicure lawns and pathways. McAteer claimed that this kind of a natural burial would mean the funerals would be cheaper. He said the burial ground would be “cheaper to maintain than a conventional graveyard” and would contribute to sustainability by encouraging the use of “environmentally sound” coffins.

Plot prices range form €715 for “a single” to €2,497 for a family of four “buried side by side and not stacked”.