Relatives Left “Heartbroken” At State Of Local Cemetery

Grieving relatives are being left “heartbroken” by the state of neglect at an overgrown and weed-strewn cemetery where their loved ones are buried.

Belper Cemetery, once regarded as one of the most beautiful in the county, is now being described as “a disgrace,” with ankle-high grass and huge swathes of rank weeds, some growing to more than two feet high on the top of burial plots.

Belper resident Neil Hallam has been a regular visitor to the cemetery during the eight years since the death of his wife Enid but is increasingly put off from talking flowers to her grave because of what he calls “a heart-breaking scene of neglect.”

Mr Hallam explained: “I visited the cemetery last Friday on my wedding anniversary and the state of the place shocked and disappointed me to the point of anger.

“It was such a disgrace that I had to fetch my strimmer to tackle the tall grass and weeds around my wife’s headstone.

“One small part of the site, that which could be seen from the A6, had been mowed. The rest was in a wretched state of neglect with shin-high grass swallowing up headstones and huge expanses of rank weeds running rampant.

“A decline in standards of maintenance at the cemetery has been evident for some time but I had never seen it as bad as this. It amounted, in my view, to a level of disrespect considerably at odds odd with the council’s Charter for the Bereaved and their Service Standards.

“An occasional mow every two or three weeks is no longer enough to return the cemetery to a state that properly reflects its importance to the people of this area.”

Another Belper resident, Harry White, added: “My wife and I visit the grave of our son and his wife and daughter every couple of weeks so we have seen how the place has been going downhill for at least two or three years.

“It breaks your heart and reflects very badly on the council responsible that they have allowed this situation to develop. If the people who are supposed to represent the public of this area cannot show proper respect for the dead it is a poor job.”

Amber Valley Borough Councillor Ben Bellamy has pledged to take up these complaints with the authority and press for a prompt and effective reaction from the authority’s cemeteries committee.

He said: “I have been hearing an increasing number of complaints about the deteriorating condition of Belper cemetery and prompt action is needed, not excuses about cutbacks.

“Of course funding is a problem but the time has come for addressing the state of the cemetery to be regarded as urgent and for a sustainable management plan to be put in place for its future maintenance to a standard demonstrating a proper concern for its importance to the people of the town.”

7 thoughts on “Relatives Left “Heartbroken” At State Of Local Cemetery

  • 16th May 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Hi i have been to belper cemetary last sunday yo visit my dads grave my mum hasnt been able to vidit because the grass s disgustlingly high .i put it on facebook and had loads of replys aggreeing with me i rung the council and there reply was they was short staffed .i told them thst it wasnt my dads fault .its different when we have to remove things they dont like we have to pay a fee for our plots to be kept nice and they leave it looking discusting and dangerous .mel

    • 27th May 2020 at 8:09 am

      If only Mel culd spell!

  • 16th May 2018 at 8:12 pm

    The state of the cemetery is a disgrace going to pay your respect to your loved one is upsetting without seeing there resting place looking like a piece of wast land This is not the first time complaints have been made about this and still nothing as been done

  • 16th May 2018 at 8:54 pm

    It is truly distressing the way this , what was once a very beautiful cemetery has been allowed to get into such a scruffy unkempt and neglected site .I have been going to my Dear Husbands grave weekly for the last 10 years . I now sit and cry when I look at the 6 inches or more of grass and weeds,I used to be able with great difficulty to get on my hands and knees with shears to cut around Alan’s grave ,it would take me an hour to do this.For the last 2 years I haven’t befn able to as Ihave had a knee replacement and can no longer I just sit there and cry looking at the breaks my heart as I don’t have a lanmower and would not be able to carry one up the slope even if I did. I have noticed other people ar3 now taking their own lawnmowers there Some days the grass has been so long I can’t see my shoes .i have contacted Ripley many times ..the answer. Is we are short staffed .The part where my husband is buried. Is the last part to get cut and several winters now it has been missed and therefore has remained long and scruffy all winter due to the winter weather setting in ,it is then lethal trying to get down the slope on long wet grass . A couple of years ago I posted a nice photograph of the cemetery on Belper and Proud ,comments were put under my photo about the state of neglect the cemetery has become …………PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SOMEONE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS ITS HEARTBREAKING TO SEE . I to think the Council now only cares about the front of the cemetery as that’s the bit on show to everyone who passes it on the A6 ,It has always been known as the beautiful cemetery ….it isn’t anymore

  • 16th May 2018 at 9:27 pm

    My son and myself went to the cemetery last Sunday and shocked at the state it was in it took ages to try and make it look respectable, it’s still very upsetting as we only had my husbands funeral last year, we go to sit and remember the times and shouldn’t have to be clearing weeds and very overgrown grass

  • 16th June 2019 at 6:55 am

    Recently visited Belper – walked through cemetery to town – so run down & wc was a disgrace – the town has so much to offer, history, countryside location, friendly people – maintenance would help this amazing cemetery & town

  • 23rd October 2019 at 9:56 am

    We visited my Dad’s grave a week ago. We lived across the road from the cemetery for many years as my Dad farmed in Broadholme. What an absolute mess the whole cemetery is in. It is a complete disgrace. Blackberry brambles completely covering some grave stones. My goodness I really could not believe my eyes, and some of the paths were dangerous as they were covered in moss!


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