Rubbish dumped at Chalcraft Cemetery ‘disgusts’ widower

Lester Gray, 83, clearing some rubbish left at Chalcraft Lane Cemetary where his wife is buried
Lester Gray, 83, clearing some rubbish left at Chalcraft Lane Cemetary where his wife is buried

Stop dumping rubbish in this sacred cemetery.

That is the message from a widower whose wife is buried at Chalcraft Lane Cemetery, which he says is plagued by fly-tipping.

Lester Gray, 83, says he’s been trying to get managers Arun District Council to clear away tree cuttings and wood chippings for weeks.

“Nothing at all has been done to clean it up, I’m disgusted and it’s high time these people did something about it,” Lester said.

“I spoke to a manager at least three weeks ago and I was given all sorts of promises it would be tidy by the end of November, but they didn’t say which November.

“Quite frankly it’s a disgusting situation that’s gone on and on for months.”

Lester lives near the North Bersted cemetery and visits his wife’s grave twice a week.

He says wood chippings from felled trees cover some graves and bushes and other foliage have been left there.

“I’ve got a plot next to my wife and I don’t want her grave, my grave or anyone else’s disrespected like this,” Lester said. “It seems like any Tom, Dick or Harry is allowed to dump their wood chippings.”

An Arun District Council spokesman said: “A council officer recently spoke with the gentleman concerned in order to resolve the situation.

“Fly-tipping is not something we tend to have a problem with at the cemetery; however our officer will double-check the whole site this week and ensure that any rubbish is removed straight away.

“A tree which was very poorly formed was recently removed as it was obstructing access to a number of plots.

“The stump of the removed tree will be ground out in due course and the area will have new turf laid. The woodchip was purposely spread amongst vegetation on the edge of the cemetery.

“Some of the perimeter areas of the site have been left to grow with the idea that the vegetation will seclude the cemetery from the adjacent caravan site and donkey fields to give the public some privacy.

“The council is currently refurbishing the central garden of remembrance within the cemetery as part of its ongoing programme of improvements.

“The council is confident that these actions will ensure that the cemetery is up to the high standards that we expect to deliver.”