A young mother burst into tears when she visited the grave of her son and found it covered in grass cuttings.
Eight-year-old Anton Rego died from a brain tumour earlier in the summer, and his ashes are now buried underground in a casket at Tring Road cemetery.
But when his mother visited his resting place last week she found a mess.
“I was so upset I burst into tears,” she said. “When the grass is cut everything is ruined because the cuttings are not raked up and they spread all over the flowers and rot and ruin the flowers.
“It is so inappropriate and ridiculous. It is distressing enough to lose my young lad without having his grave ruined by grass cuttings.”
Mrs Rego, who lives in Buckingham Park, visits the cemetery twice a week with her husband Matthew.
“I sit on the grass and read my magazine, eat my lunch and have a chat with Anton,” said Mrs Rego. “We take sunflowers because they were Anton’s favourite flowers, and also carnations because they tend to last .
“We used to grow sunflowers in the garden with Anton, and I cut them down to place on his grave, but it was very distressing to see them covered in grass cuttings.”
Mrs Rego admits she has found the mess only once since Anton was interred in July, but said other parents with children buried in the children’s area have told her it happens all the time.
“It’s an issue with the whole cemetery,” said Mrs Rego, “not just the babies area. The adult graves are covered with cuttings too. It’s so heartbreaking, it ruins them. The gardeners cannot be considering the distress this causes relatives. They should use a blower or collect all the cuttings.”
Aylesbury Town Council took over responsibility for the 25 acre cemetery from the district council in 2007.
Cemetery administrator Roger King said four men are permanently based there to dig graves, mow and strim, but the rainy summer has extended the cutting season and caused the grass to grow long very quickly.
He personally inspected Mrs Rego’s son’s grave on Friday and found no cuttings on it.
He said the policy is to blow all grass off the graves, but it is possible that it could be blown back by the wind.
This was confirmed by a grandmother at the cemetery yesterday (Tuesday) who said the wind regularly blows grass cuttings onto the grave of her grandson.
Cllr Matthew Launchbury said: “I send my sympathy to the lady and I can understand her concerns. This year has been difficult because of the weather, but generally the cemetery is very well kept.”
Acting town clerk Keith Gray adds: “If something is happening to cause people distress then obviously we want to hear about it. I have sympathy for the families and will look into this.”
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Weather for Aylesbury
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North