Rabbits cause a rethink on Dales cemetery plastic flowers ban

Askrigg Cemetery

By Betsy Everett

Hungry rabbits and an anguished plea have prompted a U-turn on a ban on plastic flowers at a Dales village cemetery.

At its September meeting, Askrigg and Low Abbotside parish council decreed that the cemetery would become a “plastics-free zone,” with no plastic flowers, plants or wreaths placed on the graves.

Although they have not met formally since the decision was taken, they have now had a change of heart after a regular visitor to the council-owned cemetery told them that placing artificial flowers and greenery on the graves of three loved ones gave her “great comfort.”

“I love fresh flowers,” she told members in a handwritten letter, “but they do not last long. People who travel from away will not come back to remove their dead flowers, and the cemetery will be a very dull place without these flowers providing lots of colour.”

She added that while she wished to make her feelings known, she felt her protest would be “a waste of time”

But the council has rethought the no-plastics directive.

“They do appreciate it is not always possible or practical to have fresh flowers on graves – and we do have a problem with rabbits eating plants,” said parish clerk, Karen Lynch.

The council had decided to conduct a trial using a commercial waste bin in the cemetery.

“They would ask that visitors to the graves put any rubbish or plastic in the bin provided and not on the ground or in the water butt. Also they would expect any Christmas wreaths and so on to be cleared away in the new year. Any plastic flowers or wreaths found away from a grave will be thrown in the bin,” she added.

Rubbish left behind the wall

1 Comment

  1. Every action, no matter how noble, has unintended consequences. Newton should’ve thought of that.

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