Churches and other authorities with responsibilities for burial grounds should look at the role they play in society on the continent, according to Julie Rugg, of the University of York's Cemetery Research Group (CRG). Research by has found that more than four in 10 (44%) cemeteries are expected to be full within 20 years, with a quarter full within the next decade.
Dr Rugg said there needed to be a rethink about re-using graves.
"We spend a lot of time thinking that's a problem, something we don't want - it brings money back into our cemeteries, it brings people back into our cemeteries," she said.
"Cemeteries become vibrant places then, where you can meet people, not these places that are a little bit abandoned."