Repairs needed at village graveyard near Hemel after natural phenomenon made it unsafe

Dacorum Borough Council has announced repairs will be carried out after 'grave sinkage' was discovered.

Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 5:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 5:06 pm

The repairs are required in certain areas of the graveyard at All Saints Church, Kings Langley, near Hemel, because of grave sinkage.

It is a gradual natural phenomenon that affects all cemeteries, as the UK has a temperate maritime climate, which means it is prone to wet weather which in turn affects the soil.

The damage has made some sections of the graveyard unsafe for both the public and Dacorum Borough Council's Clean, Safe and Green grounds maintenance team.

The graveyard at All Saints Church,Kings Langley near Hemel

The council was planning localised repairs to make the ground safe for maintenance, when the coronavirus (COVID-19 ) outbreak first struck, and then the combination of rain and sunshine led to the very rapid growth of grass.

However, the council has started commissioning specialist contractors to make the hazardous parts of the graveyard safe, whilst maintaining the sections of the graveyard which can be maintained without repairs.

Councillor Alan Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services said: "There has been some public confusion about who is responsible for the grass cutting in the All Saints Graveyard.

"When a graveyard becomes full, the responsibility for its maintenance passes to a local council, so All Saints is not responsible for the maintenance of its graveyard. Meanwhile, it is not the case that the grass just needs to be cut - significant works costing tens of thousands of pounds are required to make the graveyard safe before anyone can cut all the grass in the graveyard.

"It is going to take an extensive amount of work to resolve the ground movement problems, and this project demonstrates the Council's commitment to the safety of the public and our staff."