A group of Australian farmers have won permission to open a ‘feet-first’ graveyard.

The eco-friendly cemetery will bury the deceased vertically to save space and in bio degradable bags in a field to be used later as pasture.

Tony Dupleix, chairman of the farmers’ cooperative set up 20 years ago when the idea was first mooted, said it was a ‘no fuss’ alternative to traditional burials.

“When you die, you are returned to the earth with a minimum of fuss and with no paraphernalia that would affect the environment,” he said.

“You’re not burning 90kg of gas in a crematorium and there’s no ongoing maintenance costs.

“Once the cemetery operations are complete it will go back to being a paddock, just as it looks now, with animals grazing,” he said.

Bodies will be stored in a morgue in Melbourne and buried in batches of 12 to 15 in three-metre pre-drilled holes.

Vertical burials cost £600 and will be located on land at Derrinallum, west of Melbourne, reports The Age newspaper.

Dupleix said they expect to bury between 300 and 400 people a year.

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