“Details are not yet finalised, but project leaders hope to open the farm this year,’’ science journal Nature reported recently.
Body farms are research facilities where human corpses are buried in soil, left in water and hung from trees, allowing researchers to monitor the bodies as they decay without human interference.
The results of the research can then be applied to crime cases and help identify murder victims and work out how they died.
According to documents obtained by Nature, a site on land owned by Britain’s Ministry of Defence has been selected and the facility is already under construction.
British law allows people to donate their bodies for medical and scientific research.
Forensic experts are looking for volunteers to donate their corpses to Britain’s first body farm.
Forensic scientist Chris Rogers at the University of Wolverhampton told Nature that such a facility is essential as a lack of access to human remains hampers his research and affects how it can be used in court.
“I am someone who will be interested in using it,’’ Rogers said.
“Sites that allow the study of human remains have long existed in the U.S. and have started to appear recently in other countries including Australia and the Netherlands.
Researchers argue that the facilities could provide important information to criminal investigations that cannot be obtained from equivalent animal studies.