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Hopes £56,000 ‘rain garden’ can end ‘disruptive and distressing’ flooding at Forres cemetery

Flooding has been frequently reported at the Forres cemetery. Photo: Moray Council
Flooding has been frequently reported at the Forres cemetery. Photo: Moray Council

Work will be carried out at a Moray cemetery to protect it from future flooding.

Clovenside Cemetery in Forres was badly hit by heavy rain last winter, which the local authority described as “disruptive and distressing” after residents were unable to visit the graves of their loved ones.

There have been similar problems in the recent heavy rain, with the existing soakaway drainage system struggling to cope.

The local authority has now approved a £56,000 project to improve the situation.

What is a rain garden?

On the surface the raingarden will appear as a small dip in the ground planted with meadow grassed and native shrubs.

The site is designed to capture rain water and allow it to drain to the soil beneath, which will have a high sand content.

Work is expected to start next month and take up to four weeks to complete.

Some trees have already been removed from the lowest point in the cemetery to make way for the project.

Moray Council has stressed the trees removed will be replaced around the perimeter of the cemetery.

James Hunter, the authority’s open spaces manager, said: “Implementing a new drainage solution at Clovenside is challenging due to the gradient of the cemetery and potential impact on existing graves.

“The drainage solution we have agreed on is the most appropriate for the expanse of area and the least disruptive option.

“The bit that will take the longest will be the excavation and removal of over 100 tonnes of soil and broken bricks that make up the current soakaway.”

Flooding has caused ‘great distress’

Moray Council says screens will be put up to up to minimise disruption for those visiting the Forres cemetery.

The work will also pause when burials take place.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead. Photo: Jason Hedges/DCT Media

Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “Many local people were upset and concerned by the ongoing flooding issues at the cemetery during prolonged spells of rain, just last week downpours led to more graves being underwater.

“I am hopeful that a permanent solution has been found and look forward to the works being completed.”

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said: “On more than one occasion heavy rainfall has caused parts of the cemetery to flood and understandably this has caused some families a great deal of distress.

“This investment will be welcomed by the families affected and I very much hope that these improvements help tackle the flooding issues we’ve seen at the cemetery in recent weeks and months.”

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