Shocking pictures show Derbyshire cemetery 'looking like a paddling pool’

A Derbyshire widow has told of her pain at visiting her husband’s grave and seeing it ‘looking like a paddling pool’ following bad weather.

Friday, 22nd January 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 22nd January 2021, 9:41 am

Jane Buckley sadly lost James, her husband of 51 years, last October after he suffered heart failure.

The 73-year-old was buried at Marlpool Cemetery in Heanor – but Jane says poor weather over the last few months has led to his final resting place looking far from respectable.

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Amber Valley Borough Council says it is 'sorry for any distress caused by standing water in the cemetery'. Pictures by Brian Eyre.

Amber Valley Borough Council (AVBC), which manages the cemetery, has apologised for ‘any distress caused by standing water’ at the site – and said it hopes to resolve the problem ‘in future’.

Jane, 71, of Saxton Avenue, Heanor, said: “I went to the cemetery recently and it was severely waterlogged.

“It looked like a paddling pool and a building site with water and mud everywhere.

“Water was coming over my boots.

Jane Buckley at her late husband's grave.

“It’s difficult seeing James’ grave looking like this – and it’s also affecting many other graves there.

“It’s very upsetting and it really does hurt.”

She added: “This has been going on since I’ve been going to the cemetery – but I understand AVBC has known about the problem for years.

“They should have told me about this issue before my husband was buried there – he should never have been buried there.

Jane said 'many' other graves were also affected.

“I've contacted AVBC about this but I've not got anywhere with them."

The Derbyshire Times put Jane’s concerns to AVBC and a spokesperson for the authority said: “The council is sorry for any distress caused by standing water in the cemetery.

“The cemetery has recently witnessed a great deal of rainfall, which, combined with the recent snow melt, has led to the ground becoming saturated, which we believe in turn has led to the on-site soakaway being temporarily overwhelmed, resulting in standing water in the lower parts of the cemetery.

"The council has commenced a tender process to extend the cemetery, which also includes the provision of a second soakaway, in order to reduce the likelihood of standing water in future.”

Jane described the cemetery as looking like a 'paddling pool'.

Responding to that statement, Jane said: “I understand they’ve been saying the same thing to other people for years.

“If they don’t stick to their word and finally sort this problem, I’ll be letting the Derbyshire Times know.”

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