VISITORS to Darwen Cemetery have hit out after they were unable to tend to a relative’s grave because of overgrown grass.

Elaine Duckworth said grass around her grandmother’s grave, in the old part of the cemetery, was about four-feet high, making access harder.

Blackburn with Darwen Council blamed the overgrowth on good summer weather but pledged to deploy extra staff on order to address the issue.

Ms Duckworth and Paul Coulson took photos of the problem when they visited the cemetery last week.

She said: “This photo shows my gran’s grave, which we are unable to tend because the grass has not been cut this year. When we asked the ground staff they said it was not one of their priority jobs and may not be cut.

“We have been using a cordless trimmer to keep on top of my grandfather’s grave in the same cemetery, but this is just too high at nearly four feet.

“We know that not all the graves are tended to and are in disrepair, but this is no excuse to let all the graves go the same way.”

John East, chair of the Friends of Darwen Cemetery, said the condition of the grave was ‘a shame’ but said volunteers would work with the council to improve conditions on-site.

He said: “We work in partnership with the council but some of the time it’s too dangerous to work near certain graves.

“Hopefully the part of the cemetery where this lady is talking about will be dealt with soon. We do get disappointed when the grass grows too long.”

Coun Jim Smith, executive member for environment, said: “Several areas in Darwen Old Cemetery are extremely difficult to cut, and these are cut up to three times per year. The cutting of this area has started and this area of the cemetery will be cut as soon as possible.

“This is the peak rapid growing season for grass and the weather at the moment has encouraged the growth. We will be utilising additional staff to tackle this.”