A devoted son who made a promise to his dying mother to tend to his younger brother’s grave is at his wits’ end over bird mess.
A large tree which the birds perch in hangs over the plot in Aylesbury Cemetery in Tring Road where Roger Bennion’s mother and father buried their ten-year-old son Trevor in 1965.
Trevor, who attended Oak Green School, tragically died from leukaemia, and Roger’s parents lovingly tended his grave.
Roger’s father died in 1999, and last year his mother suffered a stroke. In her last days she appealed to her son, 66, to continue the upkeep of the grave.
Following her death, Roger paid £1,000 to have the marble headstone and surround restored, and was pleased with the results.
But he says that his life has been turned into a nightmare by a tree which hangs over the grave, and the birds above which are staining the restored stone with their droppings.
He said: “It’s getting me really depressed. I go up there and clean it up, and then the next time I go back it’s covered again, it’s never ending and I have actually shed a tear over this. I just don’t know what to do next, and I’m not sure that using these products and cleaning the mess so often is very healthy.”
Roger, who lives in Pemberton Close, has appealed to Aylesbury Town Council to remove the tree, but the authority says that there is nothing they can do. Workers did however remove a branch, which alieviated some of the problem for a while.
Roger added: “I would really like the council to remove that tree.
“When I first complained they did remove a bit of it, so if they can take part of it, why can’t they take the whole lot away? They are saying that it’s a Victorian cemetery and it’s part of the management strategy that they have to have trees. But what is this tree doing so close to a grave in the first place?”
In a letter to Roger councillor Mike Smith, leader of the town council, said: “I take the views of our residents very seriously in regard to all aspects of the town council’s work and services. I am very sorry that it does not appear we can resolve your complaint to your complete satisfaction, but to do so by removing the tree would go against our cemetery management policy.”