Burial and Cremation

Lawn grave maintenance works - March 2021

Maintenance and improvement works are to take place in the lawn graves area at Sutton Road cemetery from Monday 8 March 2021.

Ahead of this, people with graves in the lawn grave section of Sutton Road Cemetery are being asked to make sure any memorabilia or other items left at the graves are in accordance with the cemetery regulations and their burial rights agreement, and to take home any items not permitted by the end of January 2021. This does not include the area for baby graves or traditional full-length graves.

Ahead of this, people with graves in the lawn grave section of Sutton Road Cemetery are being asked to make sure any memorabilia or other items left at the graves are in accordance with the cemetery regulations and their burial rights agreement, and to take home any items not permitted by the end of January 2021. This does not include the area for baby graves or traditional full-length graves. However if someone has a grave in the lawn graves sections for a child or loved one under the age of eighteen years they will, unfortunately, be affected as access is needed to do the maintenance and improvement works, including the digging of new graves.

Permitted memorials for lawn graves include a headstone, plaque, vase or book, which may be placed at the head of the grave. Flowers can also be placed on the plinth at the top of the grave. 

As lawn graves, no other items should be placed on the graves. This is to ensure maintenance and grass cutting of the lawn grave area can take place safely, and to maintain the safety of staff and visitors. Lawn graves also need to remain free of items so that staff can access new plots with heavy machinery to dig new graves without damaging those already in place.

Ahead of the maintenance works taking place to ensure the cemetery remains clean, tidy and safe for all visitors, lawn grave owners are being asked to collect any unpermitted items or memorabilia from their graves by Sunday 31 January 2021. Any personal mementoes and memorabilia not collected will be stored for four weeks. Unfortunately, due to limited storage  other items such as frames, fences, concrete surrounds, and loose chippings will be disposed of. Any personal items not collected within four weeks will need to be disposed of.

Why do people have to take items away from their lawn graves?

We understand that this is a very challenging time for everyone, and that any time work is carried out in the vicinity of a loved one’s grave it is very sensitive and can be upsetting. We also know that it will upset people for us to ask them to remove items from lawn graves. This is a very difficult situation but unfortunately we now have many examples of where full graves have been created with surrounds for example, in an area of the cemetery which is set over for headstones and lawn only.

This is against the agreements in place between the Burial Authority and lawn grave owners and is common to all lawn graves across the country. The creation of full graves also restricts access for our staff to be able to maintain and cut the lawn area and get large machinery into these areas to dig new lawn graves. Secondly, we need to ensure the lawn graves are as clear as possible so that we can undertake the maintenance and improvement works properly and safely.

Why are we asking people to do this now and so close to Christmas?

We understand the sensitivities of doing this, and due to that sensitivity, there is never a good time to ask people to do this. However, we also wanted to give people as much notice as possible of the works taking place in March 2021 and the date we are asking items to be taken home by (31 January 2021). Signage was put up at the end of October to give people three months’ notice of this. We will also be writing to grave owners who we have contact details for. We also know that many people visit the cemetery over the Christmas period, and so wanted to ensure the signage was up well in advance of that busy period. We could have waited until the New Year but felt that it was right to give the most notice as possible.

Who can I discuss this with further?

If anyone has any concerns or questions about what can and can’t be left on a lawn grave, please do contact the on-site team who will offer support and guidance.

Contact Bereavement Services

Telephone: 01702 215015/603908

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