Environmental issues drive graveyard enterprise

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Coffin boffin Brian Fisher has unveiled a new system for burying people that could help to ease the shortage of land in Britain’s graveyards and protect the environment.

Mr Fisher is hoping to secure funding to launch his ‘Bripod Gravesafe’ system after approaching Sheffield-based patent and trade mark attorney Howard Lock Intellectual Property for advice on protecting his idea.

With Howard Lock’s help, the system has already gained a UK patent and has patents pending in the US and Europe.

Brian Fisher says Gravesafe allows six or more burials in a single plot, while eliminating the threat of collapse when neighbouring graves are dug.

The system also allows graves to be dug more quickly and bodies to be exhumed more easily in the event of questions arising over the cause of death. According to Howard Lock, Mr Fisher’s Gravesafe system could help to solve a looming shortage of spaces in Britain’s graveyards and offer many other environmental benefits.

Some experts are warning that Britain’s graveyards could be full in just 10 years.

A number of local authorities in large towns and cities, notably in London and the South East have already started recycling forgotten graves, exhuming the remains and digging deeper into the ground to provide additional space.

However, Brian Fisher reckons that is dangerous for the gravediggers and the environment.

“Graves that are currently being recycled date back to Victorian times, a time when many noxious chemicals and compounds including arsenic and other associated adhesives, sealants and cosmetics were used by undertakers as part of the embalming process,” he says.

“Re-opening these old graves not only exposes gravediggers to a potentially lethal cocktail of chemicals that have been lying dormant in the ground, but as the graves go deeper and without adequate protection to shore up the sides of the graves, the more likely it is that the walls will collapse.”