The green choice for your final send off available on Norwich market

Ruth Phelps, who has a stall on Norwich market selling wicker baskets, has now started selling wicke

Ruth Phelps, who has a stall on Norwich market selling wicker baskets, has now started selling wicker coffins.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

For many people, planning a funeral can be a difficult and costly business,

But one Norwich market stall holder has been thinking outside the box to come up with a way to save on some of the stress while helping the environment at the same time.

Ruth Phelps, from Colegate, has started selling wicker coffins from her stall on the market and the idea appears to be taking off.

In just a couple of days she has sold three with one person planning to use it as a bookcase and another as a coffee table until the inevitable time comes.

Ms Phelps said: 'Everyone has experienced the loss of a loved one and we all turn to funeral directors at a time when we are very upset - but it is very expensive - and I want people to have a fair price.

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'I have always tried to be as green as possible, we can't keep putting metal in the ground, so I decided to sell wicker coffins and have had a wonderful response.'

A wicker coffin from a funeral directors can cost between up to £1,300, but Mrs Phelps is offering hers for around £350.

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Irene Cattermole, 76, who was visiting Norwich from Northumberland, said: 'I think it's a wonderful idea, I don't believe in spending lots of money on funerals and these coffins are truly beautiful.'

The handmade coffins can hold 20 stones in weight and come in a range of sizes.

Jane McDow, 57, from Earlham, said that she would be purchasing one in the future.

'Why would anyone spend more at a funeral home when you can help a local seller on the market and get a better price,' she said. 'Everyone plans ahead nowadays when it comes to your send off and we need to think ahead for the environment too.'

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