BCP COUNCIL has allowed grass to grow in cemeteries as part of an initiative despite concerns that it is 'disrespectful'.

After calls for grass to be cut in cemeteries across the BCP conurbation, the council told the Echo it made the decision as part of its initiative No Mow May to allow it to grow for wildlife. 

Despite the public, several of whom have family buried in the cemeteries, unable to visit family due to the long grass, the council stated the grass 'adds to the tranquility' of the cemeteries. 

A spokesperson for BCP Council said: “To promote biodiversity and improve conditions for wildlife, some areas of grass throughout the BCP area are not cut during the summer, including some areas within cemeteries and churchyards. The wildlife this attracts adds to the tranquillity of the place.

“Some residents favour short tidy grass, especially around their loved one’s resting place, and we have adopted a balance between rewilding the older parts of our cemeteries, where the gravestones have been in place for more than 100 years and visitors are less likely to attend."

Nichola Roberts, 62, has complained about the decision, saying it means she is unable to see her grandparents and great-parents buried in a family grave in the old part of the cemetery in Christchurch Cemetery, Jumpers Road. 

She maintains the family grave alone and is the only person in her family able to do so following her husband's death four years ago.

She said: "I was in tears. There's a lovely little lady who's desperately looking for her husband's grave and she couldn't find it and then she nearly fell.

"There's graves that have sunk and the holes opened so if you get one for in one of those, you would go flying and maybe hit a headstone. 

"A cemetery should be a place where your family graves are accessible and it's not. It's disrespectful to them."

BCP Council stated it cut the grass four times a year with one cut done in the newest cemetery extension, which will continue in the newer area.

The spokesperson said: “Our focus across all of our cemeteries and churchyards is on the needs of the bereaved.”