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Rules and Regulations in respect of the Borough Cemeteries

Grave Personalisation

1. Whilst the Council recognises the benefits to families in being able to personalise a grave, it must also have regard to the operational and access difficulties often caused by instances of excessive grave personalisation. In order to prevent such difficulties, it is necessary to limit the extent to which a grave may be personalised.

2. As soon as practicable after the funeral, the Council will turf or seed the whole grave space. Any floral tributes will be temporarily moved to allow the turfing, and then replaced following completion of this work.

3. Each grave has an allowable Personalisation Area, at the head of the grave, below the Memorial Area, into which Grantees may place appropriate personal items or plants. The size of the Personalisation Area will depend upon the type of grave in question:

  • Lawn Graves: 122cm (4') wide x 53cm (1' 9") deep
  • Cremated Remains and Babies' Graves: 60cm (2') wide x 23cm (9") deep

4. If Grantees would like their Personalisation Area marking out, then they may contact Bereavement Services, who will be pleased to assist.

5. The following items may not be placed anywhere on a grave:

  • kerbs, fences, edging stones or surrounds
  • gravel or decorative chippings
  • glass, porcelain, brittle plastics or fragile items
  • noisy items
  • balloons

6. It is not permitted for memorial masons to fix kerbs, or to sell or supply kerb components to Grantees or their families for self-fixing. Families should not approach masons in this regard.

7. The Personalisation Area may be planted with suitable shrubs, plants or flowers, but the planting of large growing trees, conifers and shrubs is not permitted. Plants of this kind may not only obscure memorials, but their roots can weaken the foundations, causing damage to the memorial and also those on neighbouring graves.

8. If any items or plants are placed in breach of this Regulation, then Bereavement Services will contact the Grantee or Grantees when:

  • the items prevent or restrict access for grave-digging or funeral attendance
  • the items encroach upon, or adversely affect a neighbouring grave
  • a complaint has been received about the items

9. Where the need to access a grave is urgent (for example, because of a forthcoming funeral) Bereavement Services will contact the Grantee(s) by telephone, when possible, to request the removal of the items as soon as possible.

10. Where the situation is not urgent, then Bereavement Services will write to the Grantee or Grantees and request that they attend on-site to discuss matters with a member of staff, in order to reach agreement upon a reduction of personalisation to a level which does not cause difficulties.

11. The Council is not responsible for monitoring whom may be permitted to leave a tribute in any given Personalisation Area, or on any other part of a grave.

12. To be able to contact Grantee or Grantees, it is very important that Bereavement Services are informed of any changes of address.

13. Please refer to the Council's leaflet, Personalising a Grave Space for further detail.

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