In the UK, the annual number of cremations exceeded burials for the first time in 1968. Since then cremation has increased considerably year by year. Current figures suggest that around 70% of all funerals are cremations, with some urban areas exceeding that figure.
Despite the rise in cremations, which has raised the capacity of burial grounds, many villages as well as towns and cities are faced with a growing concern that their burial ground will soon be full. We try not to dwell on the thoughts of when or where our loved ones will be laid to rest, but we have to be practical and plan ahead if we wish their resting place to be close by.
With this in mind we have acquired the field adjacent to the existing burial ground. The consecration of the land by the Bishop will probably take place next year, details as yet to be arranged, but initial work for the new site has already begun. A new extension to the pathway has been recently completed and is looking extremely good. A fence has been erected between the new housing development in Lowfield Lane and the burial ground. This includes a padlocked gate, currently not for public use, with a further entrance point planned for the top of the field to give access for maintenance. A new hedge and a few trees will be planted, weather permitting, this month. Also planned is cattle proof fencing to be erected to protect the new landscaping. Further work to tidy and improve the gated entrance on the Newport road will also begin soon. Work on any new project takes money and a team of dedicated volunteers as well as specialist to follow it through to fruition. If you have any ideas, or can spare a few hours to help with the project please let the Parish Council office know and we will share it with those involved.
Concerns re the existing Burial Ground
Sadly however it is not all positive news. Parishioners have bought to our attention some concerns in regard to the burial ground. Regrettably there has been reports of children using the existing burial ground as a play area, with pedal bikes been ridden across the burial ground. One report was of children using the grave stone edges as ramps for their bikes to jump the graves, this is not acceptable. Further upset parishioners reported plants had been taken from graves over the Christmas period. Besides the risk to serious injury and costly damage, these incidents cause unnecessary upset and distress. Children who wish to visit the burial ground should be reminded that this is a place for quiet reflection and remembrance, and the area should be treated with respect. Let us hope this does not continue.
Further concerns have also been raised of some dog owners using the newly acquired field, which is now accessible from the existing burial ground, as a place to exercise their dog off the lead. We would ask those dog owners to refrain from doing so. Dog fouling has also been reported on the burial ground pathway and on the green space among the graves. Dogs are not currently banned from the burial ground, but owners need to be aware if they visit with their dog, it is their responsibility to ensure the dog is on a lead at all times and any “accidents” removed using a poo bag.
We as a Parish are so lucky to have plenty of children friendly areas, and lovely walks for our beloved pets close to home, we really do not need to resort to using the burial ground.