Highland Council says it will look at placing signage at the entrance to cemeteries to curb the excessive use of ornaments in graveyards.
The topic came up in Highland Council’s Audit & Scrutiny meeting in Inverness yesterday as members reviewed the council’s performance in burials and cremations.
Caithness councillor Raymond Bremner said he had spent considerable time this year helping in cemeteries on a voluntary basis to better understand the issues maintenance workers are faced with.
He said the public’s expectation of levels of graveyard maintenance was sometimes at odds with what was able to be achieved.
Ornaments often strayed out of the permitted area around graves.
He said: “If lair maintenance workers have to spend a lot of time taking ornaments off all the graves for maintenance it can affect their attempts to mow the graveyard every two weeks as the public expect. It can’t physically be achieved.”
Nairn councillor Laurie Fraser said ornaments began to get damaged after the introduction of strimmers around 25 years ago.
Mr Fraser suggested signage be introduced at the entrance of cemeteries to make the boundaries for ornaments clear.
Highland Council’s Head of Environmental and Amenity Services Andy Summers said: “We have been reviewing the grass cutting machinery we use throughout the Highlands and we will have the appropriate machinery for the cemeteries in place for next season.
“I like the idea of a pictorial representation for families showing where they can put memorabilia and ornaments, and I’m happy to take that forward, and to put information out to families when purchasing a lair to say ‘this what we’d ask you to do if you’re putting any ornaments out’.”