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Mourner’s disgust over sheep and weeds in graveyard

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 16, 2014

13/06/14 Christchurch Linton graveyard state
Christchurch Linton overgrown graveyard....Linda and John Parker..

13/06/14 Christchurch Linton graveyard state Christchurch Linton overgrown graveyard....Linda and John Parker..

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WEEDS, long grass, and grazing sheep are making a church graveyard in Linton unbearable for mourners, it has been claimed.

Linda Parker, who regularly goes to pay her respects to relatives at Christ Church, said she could not bring herself to leave flowers on family graves because she was so disgusted by the state of the churchyard.

The problem, she said, was caused by huge weeds, overgrown grass and the sheep which graze nearby.

“They have got it all nice at the front, but at the back there are sheep, which are biting the heads off all the flowers, and the weeds are as high as I am – and I’m five foot six.

“It’s been that way for a while and it isn’t right. It would be a lovely churchyard if they did the work.

“It’s terrible. I’ve never seen anything like it,” the 65-year-old said.

Mrs Parker, of Princess Avenue, Linton, goes regularly to the churchyard to visit the graves of her parents, grandparents, brother and uncle, and said the area had been unkempt for some time.

It is not the first time complaints have been made about the churchyard – and its woolly inhabitants in particular.

Last year, wardens received complaints that the sheep were not only eating the flowers, but also relieving themselves on the graves.

The animals had been put in the field as four-legged lawnmowers, with the hope they would control the grass in the area.

Barrie Norman, one of the wardens at the church, told the Mail the issues were ‘an unfortunate consequence’ of having the sheep.

He acknowledged the churchyard was a little messy at the moment, but said the issue would be solved next week.

“We are about to have a clear up on June 21. The sheep will be grazing again, as we can’t use strimmers or mowers because of the graves.

“There is no viable option, but we will attempt to keep the graves clear,” he added.

A notice pinned up in the churchyard says the clean up has been prompted by the appearance of unacceptable items in the area of the yard reserved for cremated remains. All items removed will be kept by church staff until the August Bank Holiday weekend.

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