Families are upset that they cannot plant flowers in certain areas of cemeteries in March and Chatteris

MP Steve Barclay at New Road cemetery, Chatteris, with some of those complaining about new policy on

MP Steve Barclay at New Road cemetery, Chatteris, with some of those complaining about new policy on flowers - Credit: Archant

A plea is being made to lift a flower planting ban on some of the grave stones in cemeteries in March and Chatteris.

Fenland District Council has stopped planting in certain areas to make it easier for staff to mow the grass.

MP Steve Barclay said: “Mourners in Chatterishave been told they cannot continue to plant flowers for their loved ones in a new area of the cemetery, even though elsewhere in the cemetery families will still be able to do so.

“Many people in Chatteris, and also in March where a similar rule has recently been introduced, probably do not know of the new restrictions.

“Families told me that they felt it was disrespectful to have the plots of their loved ones walked over by staff and that planting flowers was an important part of their act of remembrance and reflection.”

He added: “A number of local residents have told me that they are happy to maintain the grass around the headstones themselves and given that plots in the older part of the cemetery are often in a much worse state, they should be given the opportunity to do so.

“I hope Fenland Council will have a re-think on this new policy banning flowers planted by headstones and apply a consistent approach across all the plots in the cemetery.

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“Chatting with the families at the cemetery, there was such a clear sense of love and pride in the tending of these plots including planting flowers as an act of remembrance, and I hope the council will listen to the wishes of local residents and ensure they are able to continue doing so.”

He said the rule change from the council is based on making it easier for staff to cut the grass around headstones but because they will continue to do so around other plots in the rest of the cemetery families felt let down that their views were not being listened to.

We are awaiting a response from Fenland District Council.

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