It brings a new meaning to the phrase "dust to dust". Funerals in Britain could soon end with the body of a loved-one being frozen to -196C in liquid nitrogen and then shaken until it disintegrates into powder. Is that what REALLY happened to Walt Disney?

The process – known as "promession" – could be the answer to the dwindling amount of space in Britain’s cemeteries as well as being more environmentally friendly than cremation, say campaigners.

It has already been given the go-ahead in Sweden, and now councils are lobbying the Government to change the law to allow it to happen here – currently bodies can only be buried or cremated.

A survey of 100 local authorities found that more than a quarter were already actively considering freeze-drying bodies, the latest being Preston in Lancashire.

Many cemeteries will run out of space within ten years, forcing councils to consider unpopular solutions such as "double-decker" graves, with coffins buried on top of one another, or even vertically – effectively standing up.