Dog mess ruins grave trip

Alvin Dawson beside his mother's grave in Burgh le Marsh cemetery.
Alvin Dawson beside his mother's grave in Burgh le Marsh cemetery.

A grieving son whose visit to his mother’s grave was tarnished by a dog muck infested cemetery has called on irresponsible owners to be named and shamed.

Alvin Dawson was brought to tears to see the grave of his mother Joan surrounded by excrement at St Peter and St Paul’s cemetery in Burgh le Marsh, which he says is ‘absolutely disgusting’.

“There were four piles of it next to each other and it’s absolutely disgusting,” he said.

“To have it in the cemetery where our loved ones are is horrendous. I only buried my mum last year and it’s horrible to see her grave like this.”

The 58-year-old who lives alone in his dead mother’s old home believes dogs should be banned from the cemetery if they can’t be controlled.

“I don’t think people should be allowed to bring their dogs into the cemetery, there are other places for them to go and it should be a place for worship and contemplation,” he said.

Alvin, who accidentally trod in some of the mess while laying flowers beside the grave, believes others have been angered by the problem as someone had sprayed a ‘no dog fouling’ sign on the tarmac nearby.

Father Terry Steele, who owns a dog himself, says the issue of fouling tends to arise in ‘fits and starts’ and the culprits are rarely ever seen.

He opposes the idea of banning dogs from the cemetery and hopes the problem can be avoided if owners behave responsibly, like the majority do.

“Just put it in the bin because it comes back on all of us,” he said.

The Mayor of Burgh le Marsh, Coun Alan Middleton, says the town council has attempted to tackle the problem by carrying out patrols of the worst affected areas with East Lindsey District Council’s dog wardens and the local police community support officer to identify offenders.

“We are aware of the problem and we are doing out utmost to resolve it,” he said. “I would appreciated it if any residents have a problem with dog fouling that they report it to one of the councillors.”

Fellow councillor Jim Dodsworth who is also chairman of Burgh Playing Fields Association, which has banned dogs, says fouling is a ‘huge problem’, highlighting a recent case in Welton le Marsh where a child was blinded by coming in contact with it.

“Children go to school, their feet get lathered up in it and it’s a huge problem,” he said.