Opinion divided over whether old Blackburn cemetery should allow nature to take over

Blackburn Citizen: Anne Edwards loves the overgrown cemetery Anne Edwards loves the overgrown cemetery

AN old cemetery in Blackburn has turned into a wildlife oasis after the grass was allowed to grow long.

Opinion is divided among local residents about the wild grassland. Some say they enjoy getting back to nature, but others are urging the council to cut the grass and maintain the area around their family plots.

Anne Edwards, 58, who lives in Whalley New Road, walks her dogs in the cemetery three times a day, and wants the grass to be allowed to grow free.

She said: “I just like it the way it is. A lot of these graves are not visited anymore and people can trim round their own graves “I love it. It’s nice for birds nesting, and bees and butterflies come here, and hedgehogs, and foxes, and there were deer here too.

“It’s like a walk in the countryside. The dogs love it too. It’s like having the country on your doorstep. There are more people coming here for walks than there are tending graves.”

But Gerard Rogan, 61, from Knuzden, said he and his wife were upset by the state of the cemetery.

He said: “My mother-in-law was only buried there last year, in a family grave, and we tend the grave every week. It’s heartbreaking, my wife’s really upset by it. It’s unbelievable. We had a new headstone put on and the actual plot looks nice, but it’s spoilt by that grass.

“The council say they cut the grass three times a year, but it’s not been cut at all so far this year.”

The cemetery is maintained by Blackburn Council together with a Friends group, and there are plans to cut the grass in the next few weeks.

Coun Shaukat Hussain lead member for environment said: “As a council we understand that grass cutting and other environmental work remains a priority for residents. Over the past few weeks we have been tending and tiding many of the borough’s open spaces and cemeteries as we have seen an unprecedented rate of grass growing. I can now however assure residents that contractors will clear the area as soon as possible.”

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:27pm Tue 8 Jul 14

chammy says...

As a dog owner myself, This is a quiet place for people to pay their respect,and maybe some people who would have once maintained graves are no longer around,This dosent mean it should be left all overgrown,and uncared for,It is a nice walk round for dogs but we need to remember people have paid good money to be buried there and not to be covered over by very tall grass,What does it look like to visitors when they see the state of these places,they get a very bad impression,so please keep cutting the grass.
As a dog owner myself, This is a quiet place for people to pay their respect,and maybe some people who would have once maintained graves are no longer around,This dosent mean it should be left all overgrown,and uncared for,It is a nice walk round for dogs but we need to remember people have paid good money to be buried there and not to be covered over by very tall grass,What does it look like to visitors when they see the state of these places,they get a very bad impression,so please keep cutting the grass. chammy
  • Score: 12

5:50pm Tue 8 Jul 14

phil kernot says...

Don't stop cutting the grass so you can pay councilors better pensions. Blah blah
Don't stop cutting the grass so you can pay councilors better pensions. Blah blah phil kernot
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Tue 8 Jul 14

mavrick says...

To let a graveyard overgrow like this is totally disrespectful to the dead and any living relatives. I am sure there is enough community payback offenders that could be drafted in to cut the grass and tidy up the cemeteries.
To let a graveyard overgrow like this is totally disrespectful to the dead and any living relatives. I am sure there is enough community payback offenders that could be drafted in to cut the grass and tidy up the cemeteries. mavrick
  • Score: 17

9:37pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Joe Kay says...

In this cemetery are a lot of old war hero's of both world wars and boar war. I recently visited the cemetery with my 2 children to show my children where a distant relative was buried which is James Pitts VC me and my children planted poppy plants for our relative who was the first person from Blackburn to be awarded the Victoria Cross. It was so shocking to see the graveyard so overgrown I was trying to teach my children about showing respect for the dead of the world wars. Blackburn council should show a lot more respect to the towns past war hero's that fought for this country in some brutal conflicts the council are showing a dreadful lack of respect in the run up to the 100th anniversary of the start of the great war ( WW1 ) the council should maintain these old soldiers graves as a sign of respect for people that fought for all our freedom. The community payback team could help out more around the cemetery and help in keeping the graveyard tidy. So come on council organise things better and show some respect for the dead.
In this cemetery are a lot of old war hero's of both world wars and boar war. I recently visited the cemetery with my 2 children to show my children where a distant relative was buried which is James Pitts VC me and my children planted poppy plants for our relative who was the first person from Blackburn to be awarded the Victoria Cross. It was so shocking to see the graveyard so overgrown I was trying to teach my children about showing respect for the dead of the world wars. Blackburn council should show a lot more respect to the towns past war hero's that fought for this country in some brutal conflicts the council are showing a dreadful lack of respect in the run up to the 100th anniversary of the start of the great war ( WW1 ) the council should maintain these old soldiers graves as a sign of respect for people that fought for all our freedom. The community payback team could help out more around the cemetery and help in keeping the graveyard tidy. So come on council organise things better and show some respect for the dead. Joe Kay
  • Score: 12

11:47pm Tue 8 Jul 14

kessuki says...

Keep cutting the grass and show some respect to the families. If you want to walk the dog go to a real park not the graveyard.
Keep cutting the grass and show some respect to the families. If you want to walk the dog go to a real park not the graveyard. kessuki
  • Score: 6

12:11am Wed 9 Jul 14

Darwen Malc says...

I personally find that overgrown cemeteries, with the plants and wildlife, seem so serene and calm. Admittedly, plants like brambles are so invasive that they require some minimal attention to prevent them becoming overgrown and obtrusive and make areas inaccessible. But wild grasses, poppies, bluebells, vetch etc. if left alone, can look so beautiful and so much better than a manicured and sterile landscape. I would think that people who choose to be buried tend to want to be laid to rest and be at one with nature, so why not let nature take its course?
I personally find that overgrown cemeteries, with the plants and wildlife, seem so serene and calm. Admittedly, plants like brambles are so invasive that they require some minimal attention to prevent them becoming overgrown and obtrusive and make areas inaccessible. But wild grasses, poppies, bluebells, vetch etc. if left alone, can look so beautiful and so much better than a manicured and sterile landscape. I would think that people who choose to be buried tend to want to be laid to rest and be at one with nature, so why not let nature take its course? Darwen Malc
  • Score: 4

6:03am Wed 9 Jul 14

Reasons says...

She would not be so happy if she slipped or got caught with a branch ,,,, Blame Claim
This is still a place that is for burials and not a wilderness. Like before casualties from both wars are there as well as 3 murdered girls and these should not be left to be forgotten as with the other people buried there .To say she is in 3 x a day mmmmmm doubt it .The group do a great job and are putting aside an area for wildlife as well but there is Blackburns Heritage in the cemetery and that should be recognised not left to become overgrown .Nature still has to be maintained so instead of complaining maybe she could come in and help the area and get involved she utilises not criticize .
She would not be so happy if she slipped or got caught with a branch ,,,, Blame Claim This is still a place that is for burials and not a wilderness. Like before casualties from both wars are there as well as 3 murdered girls and these should not be left to be forgotten as with the other people buried there .To say she is in 3 x a day mmmmmm doubt it .The group do a great job and are putting aside an area for wildlife as well but there is Blackburns Heritage in the cemetery and that should be recognised not left to become overgrown .Nature still has to be maintained so instead of complaining maybe she could come in and help the area and get involved she utilises not criticize . Reasons
  • Score: 1

6:28am Thu 10 Jul 14

Reasons says...

Is she carrying her dog In case it gets lost in the grass?
Is she carrying her dog In case it gets lost in the grass? Reasons
  • Score: 1

10:28am Thu 10 Jul 14

Reasons says...

It would be a positive step if she actually met up with the volunteers and maybe work together instead of criticizing .It would be a great combination of two ideas working together
It would be a positive step if she actually met up with the volunteers and maybe work together instead of criticizing .It would be a great combination of two ideas working together Reasons
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Thu 10 Jul 14

noddy57 says...

You can,t please everybody .
You can,t please everybody . noddy57
  • Score: 0
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree