A GWENT town is hoping to solve its problem of a graves shortage by setting up a memorial website for a natural burial ground.

Usk has no more than 15 burial spaces left at St Mary's churchyard, which are expected to last only about five years.

But now the town council, working with Monmouthshire county council, has identified a natural burial ground a mile-and-a-half outside Usk, at Usk Castle Chase.

More than 17 acres, and around 2,500 burial spaces, are available on the land, run by Native Woodlands and on the estate of Usk Castle, owned by Rosie Humphreys.

It offers "green" burials for members of all faiths but headstones and memorials are banned under the licence.

Town councillor Roger Galletley said relatives of people buried there would now instead be able to leave "online headstones", tributes and photos on individual pages at a memorial website.

Councillor Galletley came up with the idea after talks with Monmouthshire council and Jame Leedam, who runs Native Woodlands.

He said: "We've been having in-depth discussions for six months about what to do about the lack of space. The only land available was offered for £250,000 so that was impossible.

"But this natural burial ground has lots of space, is in a lovely area and has breathtaking views down the Vale of Usk."

He added: "I understand that some people may want traditonal burials but in Usk I'm afraid we just do not have the place.

The cost of setting up the website will be around £2,000. It is expected to cost £50 per new page, which will come from the dead person's relatives.

Burials at the natural ground, which opened in 2005, cost about £1,000.