By Nigel Slater 21/06 Updated: 28/06 14:39
THE CURRENT state of Pershore Cemetery has been branded an absolute disgrace by a grieving son who has called for urgent action to clean it up.
Mark Barrett, who makes a monthly 400-mile round journey from Devon to see his mothers grave at the Three Springs Road site, has said the overgrown cemetery is not fit for purpose and shows a lack of respect.
Following his concerns, Mr Barrett created a Facebook group called Clean Up Pershore Cemetery demanding action be taken on the site and has been joined by more than 600 people since being set up more than a week ago.
"The cemetery is an absolute disgrace and it is in a general state of disrepair," Mr Barrett told the Observer.
"When I've been there I've been appalled by it. Its a joke, there is grass at least four feet long and weeds everywhere, I would say it looks more like a farmers field than a cemetery.
"I set up the Facebook group because I had a message on the Sunday (June 10) and travelled from Devon on the Tuesday (June 12) to see it. I felt disgusted by what I saw and something needs doing fast.
"Evesham cemetery and the Pershore Abbey grounds are in immaculate condition - why can't Pershore's cemetery be just the same? It's got to the stage where you can't tell a footpath is actually a footpath.
"As well as the Facebook group I have received emails from people all over the world who are connected to Pershore and sick of the state of the cemetery.
"We are just looking for a solution to the problem. I'm not saying you can make it immaculate just like that but if work was done bit by bit then that would improve things."
E-mails obtained by the Observer show residents as far from New Zealand have written to the town council expressing their displeasure of the cemetery. One email reads: "I am most unhappy the thought of my deceased family members resting in such ugly conditions."
Mr Barrett has addressed his concerns to Pershore Town Council and is hoping to call a public meeting in the near future with residents so the issues can be discussed.
Town clerk Ann Dobbins said the recent poor weather had played a part in the cemetery's appearance but said things were starting to improve again.
"I think when I saw the cemetery a few weeks ago I would say it was not in the condition as we would have liked to see it," she said. "But we have had a huge amount of rainfall recently which has made it very difficult for the groundsman to get to the ground.
"But the groundsman have been working hard for the last ten days mowing it and it is beginning to look in better shape. It is amazing what a few dry days can do.
"What has been frustrating for us is the groundsman has been without a slimmer to cut the grass around the graves. We've had one for twelve years but it had broken down so we have had to get a new one delivered."
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