Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire cemetery experiment creates extra burial plots

Image copyright Stafford Borough Council
Image caption The plastic walls allow 12 burials in a plot where the land is too unstable for a conventional grave

Fresh space has been created in a Staffordshire cemetery by using a new system which allows burials in plots separated by plastic walls.

The remaining land at Eccleshall Road Cemetery in Stafford is too sandy to allow conventional burials, Stafford Borough Council said.

Instead 12 plots have been created using plastic partitions sunk into the ground.

The method makes the graves safer and uses less space, a spokesman said.

The council said the burial system is believed to be the first of its kind used in this country.

Modular burial system at Eccleshall cemetery Image copyright Stafford Borough Council
Image caption More plots can be added at a later date by extending the number of partitions
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How the modular grave system works

  • A larger than usual hole is dug - in Eccleshall Road Cemetery it was big enough to take 12 graves
  • A frame is installed at the bottom of the plot with each individual plot measuring 9ft x 4ft (2.7m x 1.3m)
  • The plastic partition walls are built up
  • When the walls are complete each plot is backfilled leaving one open for the next burial
  • More plots can be added at a later date by extending the number of partition walls

Councillor Frank Finlay said: "This gives the chance for those who would like their loved ones to be buried in this cemetery - something they may not have thought possible."

The burial system could be rolled out to help extend the life of the borough's other cemeteries, a spokesman said.

A spokeswoman for the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Managers said other graveyards had created concrete chambers to make use of unstable land, and these had proved "quite successful".

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