A Glossop man is calling for improvements to be made to the woodland burial site in Glossop Cemetery.
Alf Howarth is concerned about what he sees as a lack of respect for the site, which has seen litter dumped there from the main cemetery and dogs allowed to run free.
“What has been happening is those going to visit the graves have been throwing rubbish over not realising it is a burial ground," he told the Chronicle.
Even more concerning for him is the lack of planting on the site, which is supposed to be a woodland meadow with trees and wildflowers.
“It is nothing like a woodland burial ground," he added. "They cut it a couple of weeks ago and it had just been levelled completely and the grass left.
“My idea of a woodland burial ground is trees and there are some trees there but not very many, and woodland wildflowers, a nice peaceful place.
“It isn’t right. I’ve looked at many pictures and woodland burial grounds are absolutely beautiful.”
Alf’s late wife Mary first spotted an article about woodland burials when they were first introduced to the High Peak and the couple purchased adjoining plots as they were drawn to the idea of the site becoming a woodland. His wife sadly died four years ago.
Alf Howarth and his late wife Mary
In response, Councillor Anthony McKeown, Leader of High Peak Borough Council, said: "Areas for woodland meadow burial have been set aside at Buxton, Glossop, Thornsett and Hope Cemeteries and over time these areas will develop to recreate a traditional woodland scene typical of the area, providing a fine habitat for wildlife.
"The Council does plant trees at the woodland meadow in Glossop whenever possible but that planting needs to be balanced with the need to maintain this area to allow for future burials.
“In addition, bulbs and wildflower seeds have been previously scattered at the meadow and further planting will take place in the future.
"In line with our current maintenance regime, this area is mown several times per year. However, the Council is next year hoping to start a review of how its land is maintained to encourage more biodiversity and so maintenance of areas such as this could change as a result of that work and following appropriate consultation with the public.
"We will be reinstating signage asking people not to leave litter or to allow their dogs to foul without cleaning it up.
“I would also appeal to everyone visiting the cemetery to bear in mind the nature of this site and to show respect for other people when visiting, and to contact the Council with any specific information around dog fouling so we can best target our enforcement resources."