The families of people buried in a “disgusting” cemetery smothered in dog poo are deciding to take their loved ones out of the ground and bury them elsewhere. Lisa Angell’s daughter, Alysha, who died of organ failure in 2008, was buried in Sutton-in-Ashfield but was exhumed and moved to Lisa’s home.
Lisa made the decision to move her daughter after a visit to the cemetery last September when she noticed grave ornaments had been stolen from Alysha’s burial site at the “vile cemetery”.
Lisa said she never initially wanted to bury her daughter at Sutton-in-Ashfield but had no choice because of an inquest into her death. But she decided to keep her there after the inquest.
She said the disappearance of her grave ornaments was the “final straw” for her.”
Lisa said: “I’d always decorated Alysha’s grave based around whatever was happening in the world and at that time we had just lost the Queen, so there were little corgis, a Union Jack and things like that around it.”
“My granddaughter had also painted these two beautiful little birds but on this one particular day I took her there, people had been stealing again and these birds had been smashed.
“My granddaughter was really upset and after 18 years, I eventually decided I had to bring Alysha back up.”
Lisa says Ashfield Council have made attempts to manage the cemetery, including “throwing grey slate” over the graves, including over flowers and decorative borders.
She said flooding is also an issue following the felling of trees in the past, which causes the ground to go “boggy”.
She also said mud covers the paths and graves.
Sadie Kime, 41, is considering applying to move her unborn son who died in 2004 if the situation doesn’t get solved.
She said: “I never wanted him to be cremated and so I will have to find somewhere else for him to be buried if that happened, which is more expense and more stress but I’ll have to do it because I’ve had enough.”
Julie Carlisle, 46, is considering similar action. Ms Carlisle lost her son Ryan in 2000 and granddaughter Poppy in 2014, both of whom are buried in the cemetery.
She said: “When we first buried Ryan things were not as bad as they are now, but as the years have gone on things have started to get worse.”
“It’s just disgusting now and what Lisa did was very brave but if it’s given her peace of mind and that’s what I might have as well, then I might have to do it.”
Lisa has set up a fundraiser on JustGiving to pay for the cemetery to be improved.
She said the parents want to install pagodas, additional flowers, and solar lighting so “it almost looks like a space they can imagine their children playing in”.
She added: “At the moment, it’s a dark and horrible place and the current manager is genuinely trying, but things are still happening too slowly.
“I haven’t slept properly for 18 years because I was so worried all the time about what was happening to Alysha’s grave.
“Amazingly, since she’s been back at home, I’ve now started sleeping properly again.”
An Ashfield District Council spokesperson said: “The council is aware of the concerns raised about the children’s section of the Cemetery. In consultation with the families we have been working hard to address a number of issues and this work will continue to take place.”
Ashfield’s Tory MP Lee Anderson has visited the cemetery several times, including in January.
He said: “Too many false promises and the recent debacle of just turning up with a van full of slate then dumping it over the children’s graves has made it look even worse.”