A Nottinghamshire council has tied stakes to gravestones over fears they could topple over causing injury.
More than 3,000 gravestones have been judged unsafe
But families claim the graves of their relatives have been desecrated and that officials are overreacting.
Gedling Borough Council is testing 18,000 headstones, if they fail a topple test they are supported by stakes driven in to the ground.
More than 3,000 headstones have failed the test. Evaluation of the headstones will cost £150,000 over five years.
The council has taken the action after tougher health and safety regulations were introduced aimed at preventing people being injured by falling headstones.
Gordon Cox, visiting the grave of his son Tony, said: "It's absolutely disgusting.
"There are so many stones effected by it, some are so small they're not dangerous at all.
"People have got to get together and fight this exercise, it's just not on. I think it's a money making exercise."
Gedling councillor Wendy Golland said: "Every effort is being made, it's a difficult thing and we do have extreme sympathy for people who are upset by this process."