Anger at distress being caused at children’s graves

Mayfield Cemetery at High Pit, Cramlington where the children's section is unkept and the grass is long.
Mayfield Cemetery at High Pit, Cramlington where the children's section is unkept and the grass is long.

A mother says council officials are causing more distress for parents who have lost their children by failing to maintain a section in a cemetery.

Elizabeth Davidson was left horrified at the state of the children’s section in Mayfield cemetery, Cramlington, where grass has been allowed to grow two feet high in places around the graves.

Mrs Davidson, who lives in Cambridgeshire and visits her daughter’s grave five times a year, says she has to fight through the long grass and weeds to get to the headstone, which she tries to maintain along with her mother.

She said: “On my last visit I had to cut away the grass myself on my daughter’s grave just to put fresh flowers down.

“I’ve left messages on the council’s answerphone but nobody is getting back to me.

“They seem to cut the main section of the cemetery but not the children’s area. The council say the grass should be cut every ten days, but this grass doesn’t look like it’s been cut for about three months.

“It’s disgusting, everybody is complaining about it.

“I just want someone to tidy up the cemetery, especially the children’s section.

“I know there are toys and other things on some graves, but the council could still cut the grass around them.”

A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said: “We understand that graves are a very sensitive and personal areas – but unfortunately we have had difficulties strimming the grass around those which contain a lot of trinkets and items.

“We apologise for any distress this has caused, and would like to meet with Mrs Davidson on site to discuss this with her and try to resolve the issue and agree the best way forward.

“We operate an open lawn policy in our cemeteries and ask that any personal items are placed on or close to the plinth as possible, and we are very concerned not to damage any items.”