Cemetery grass is ‘disgusting’

FAMILIES visiting the graves of their loved ones at Gainsborough General Cemetery say they are ‘disgusted’ at the state of the overgrown grass there.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 7th July 2012, 5:30 pm

People have had to wade knee-deep in the grass to tend to the headstones at the Cox’s Hill burial ground.

But the council which looks after the cemetery says bad weather has hampered their attempts to mow the grass.

Gainsborough Town Council environmental officer Jimmy Snee said the grounds maintenance team had been unable to do a proper job because of recent wet weather.

But Gainsborough resident Neil Footitt, of Torr Street, said the situation was ‘disgusting’.

He had been visiting the graves of his mother and uncle, who are both buried there, and was shocked by what he saw.

“I was disgusted with the state of many graves,” he told the Standard.

“They have done a rough job of cutting some of the grass and left other bits knee-deep.”

He said many of the graves were in an ‘appalling’ state.

“Members of the public spend hours of their time tending these graves, keeping them well maintained, clean and tidy,” he said.

“It must be a great shock for anyone who attends a family or loved one’s grave to see them like this.”

“Whoever is responsible for cutting the grass in the cemetery should hang their heads in shame.”

Another visitor to the cemetery, Mr R. Isherwood, said bad weather was ‘no excuse’.

“I wouldn’t leave my back garden in that state and I don’t get paid for cutting that,” he said.

“Watching the old people trying to wade through the long grass to take flowers to their loved ones is not acceptable.”

Mr Snee explained that it normally takes around five solid days to cut the grass.

“It is a big area to cover, with about 25,000 graves in total,” he said.

“We use a stand-on mower to cut the larger areas down, then we go around the edges with a strimmer.”

He said that in recent weeks they had only managed to do some of the work, mainly using the large mower, because of the rain and funerals being held.

“It has been an extremely difficult summer with the weather conditions. We have tried our utmost to keep on top of the job but it has got out of hand.”

“It can seem that we make more of a mess cutting it, than just leaving it.”

“We have apologised to any members of the public who felt offended on their visits to the cemetery and we hope their next visit will be a better one.”

Mr Snee said there had been a big improvement in the upkeep of the cemetery since Gainsborough Town Council took over it three and a half years ago.

“The same lads have been looking after it for all that time and they are as disappointed about the grass cutting situation as anyone.”

“But we were back up there at the weekend, starting off at one side of the site and making good progress.”

“All we need is a decent spell of finer weather and we’ll back on top of it again.”