A widow was told she cannot leave artificial flowers at her husband’s memorial plot because they aren’t biodegradable.
Hazel Dallas, of Tilbury, is upset at the way staff at the Herongate Woodland Cemetery, in Brentwood, have treated her since she tried to brighten up her late husband’s resting place.
Her husband Trevor passed away two years ago at the age of 50 and she regularly visits his plot to pay her respects.
Mrs Dallas said: “I used to plant real flowers, but they were eaten by rabbits.
“In an agreement I received from the cemetery, it said that I could not use glass, cellophane or rose bushes, which I have abided by.
“I then used silk flowers, but was told they were not appropriate.
“I replaced them with wooden flowers and was told by staff that I must remove them immediately, or they will do it for me. I feel victimised by people who should be considerate towards me at my time of grief.”
The Manager of Herongate Woodland Cemetery, Ray Ward, said: “We are sympathetic towards Mrs Dallas’s problem.
“While we are aware she wants to pay her respects, the land is a wildlife conservation area and is classed as an open green burial site, so all things left on plots must be biodegradable.
“Mrs Dallas has built up her plot so it is spilling into neighbouring sites, and she has even put up electronic lights in the past.
“We have erected a sign informing users that any non-biodegradable products will be removed after a week, which we think is reasonable.”
Mrs Dallas denies the trappings on her plot have spilled on to other people’s and wants to find an appropriate way to pay her respects.
So remember to check with the graveyard authorities what is and is not allowed before you buy flowers: real or artificial.