The maintenance of Tansley churchyard has been slammed as “shabby” and “disrespectful” amid claims that memorial plaques have been chipped by lawn mowers.
Siblings Karen Fry and George Toplis were devastated to find their father’s grave had been chipped on a recent visit to Holy Trinity Church, Tansley.
They were also angry to see that grass cuttings had been left obscuring the plaques.
Karen said: “It looked like maintenance staff hadn’t even attempted to clear up after themselves: plaques obscured with cuttings, some stones chipped by the mower blades – it’s extremely disrespectful and looks shabby.
“The new burial ground looks great, though. Much better cared for. And other church yards in the Dales are kept at a much higher standard. I can’t see what the issue is.”
Tansley Parish Council said it was only responsible for maintaining the new burial ground, not the old churchyard.
A spokesperson for Derbyshire Dales District Council – who are responsible for the upkeep – said that while it was difficult to comment based on the information available, staff appreciate the “sensitive nature” of the work and do not set out to cause damage.
They said: “The council does not get paid to maintain the many churchyards that fall under our responsibility, which means council tax payers are in effect funding the work. With so many to maintain, it therefore makes sense to leave grass cuttings to mulch back rather than doubling the time – and cost – by collecting.”