Anger at 'mini-beast haven' of long grass growing in cemetery
PUBLISHED: 16:09 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:09 27 June 2019
A mourner has hit out at the growth of a "mini-beast haven" inside Lowestoft Cemetery.
Weeds and long grass hide many of the headstones from view in the eastern half of the cemetery along Rotterdam Road, as part of a bid to encourage wildlife and plants to thrive in the area.
Barry Varden was "disgusted" to learn of plans to create a "mini-beast haven" in the long, uncut grass.
He said: "It looks like an abandoned wilderness.
"We don't need a 'mini-beast haven', it is just a preferable excuse to stop cutting the grass.
"No one is against conservation, but with all of the areas we have around here, there are adequate places for wildlife. For it to happen in a cemetery is disgusting.
"First and foremost, it is a cemetery and the final resting place for a lot of people, not a nature reserve. They should be expected to be able to go to a nice environment.
"The only part that is kept immaculate is the war graves."
Headstones in the worst affected areas date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.
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Mr Varden, who regularly visits a number of relatives, including his mother, at the cemetery, said: "It is a shame because it is so disrespectful to the people who are buried there, whether they have family to look after their graves or not.
"Whose preference should take priority: The people carrying out the work, or those who paid for plots and have buried loved ones there?
"I can't imagine anyone writing to them asking them to leave the grass long. All I am asking for is for it to be maintained.
"The driveway is a single track road and you can't see some of the vehicles coming in the other direction because of the tall grass.
A spokesperson for East Suffolk Council said: "We want our cemeteries to be tranquil places for reflection and remembrance, and we try to provide a balanced environment for both visitors and wildlife.
"In the majority of our cemeteries, most burials take place in the 'lawn sections' and the grass in these areas is maintained every two weeks.
"Less frequently used areas are given over for wildlife, with longer periods allowed between grass cutting to allow plants and insects to thrive.
"However, we still maintain the edges of the main routes and most frequently used paths within the conservation areas. Some areas have recently been cut to ensure drivers have sufficient visibility.
"The entire conservation areas are then usually cut back in July or August.
"Details regarding the grass cutting schedule are on display within both Lowestoft and Kirkley cemeteries.