RELATIVES visiting Poole Cemetery have described cut grass strewn all over family gravestones as 'an act of disrespect'.

Shocked visitors have accused the council of failing to properly maintain the Old Farm Road graveyard.

However, the Borough of Poole says recent weather conditions has caused the grass to grow faster than they can keep it cut.

Andrew Hall, from Poole, was recently visiting his father's grave after council workers had been strimming overgrown grass.

"The grass cuttings covered dozens of the headstones including my dads," he said.

"It was everywhere, I found it very disrespectful.

"I also saw one of the council guys resting his strimmer against a headstone.

"When I later asked him if he thought this was OK, he just shrugged his shoulders and said 'whatever'."

Another Poole resident - who asked not to be named - said when she visited her aunt's grave towards the end of May the grass was about a foot high.

"When we went to one of the sections where it had been cut back, the grass had dried and blown everywhere," she added

"It was just clumped up on graves in mounds. I had to remove handfuls of it from my aunty's grave.

"It should have been cut a long, long time ago before it was like straw everywhere.

"It was so bad. I spoke to a lady at the council but I don't think my complaint has even been registered.

"It is so disrespectful, they must have machinery that can pick up the cuttings."

Borough of Poole (BOP) street scene service manager Kate Langdown said she fully understood that cemeteries are special places where residents can remember their loved ones.

"We also appreciate the important role our services play in keeping these areas maintained," she added. "We have a dedicated team who service the cemeteries and closed graveyards."

The team work on a cyclical basis across Poole’s eight locations.

Ms Langdown explained: "This year we have experienced a mix of weather, snow and heavy rain in March and April followed by the recent warm and dry conditions, which caused grass growth rates to increase significantly.

"A single cutting cycle takes six weeks to complete at Poole Cemetery due to the restrictions of the equipment that can be used, unfortunately this time of year the grass is growing faster than we can keep it cut.

"We apologise for any upset this may have caused and are working hard to return to normal frequencies."