A KENDAL woman has criticised the “disrespectful” overgrown condition the land surrounding her father’s grave at St Mary’s Parish Church, Ambleside, was left in.

“Those people there in the graveyard are the people that made Ambleside what it is,” said Louise Rawley. “That my father is just lying under a neglected grassland is very disrespectful and hurtful to us [his family].”

According to Mrs Rawley, the part of the churchyard at the front of St Mary’s is kept in good condition, contrasting with the landscape further down where her father, Peter Walker, is buried.

She added that a friend eventually stepped in to trim the area around her father’s grave for her, and another friend had offered to maintain the grave.

Although the whole churchyard has now been trimmed, Mrs Rawley said: “I want assurances from the church that they will work towards ensuring they have plans in place, that the whole of the churchyard is regularly tended to.”

On a post Mrs Rawley made on the Facebook Group ‘Growing up in Ambleside in the 70s and 80s’, other commenters expressed displeasure with the condition of the churchyard.

Sue Cooper wrote: “Both my grandads’ were very keen gardeners and would be angry and saddened to know they are covered in weeds!” She added it was disrespectful to people who wanted a tidy churchyard and did not want to “fight through a jungle” to find their loved ones.

The Rev Beverley Lock, rector at St Mary’s Church, said the church was short on people to cut the grass. She added the grass where Mrs Rawley's father was buried was cut by people on community service, but poor weather and a timetable clash with a funeral had delayed things.

“We are not a business or anything like that. We are totally dependent on voluntary contributions and volunteers,” she said.

“We are taking it seriously and we are heartbroken that we have upset her [Mrs Rawley].

“We are doing the best we can for the community.”

She added the issue of the graveyard was on the agenda for the next Parochial Church Council meeting.

Mrs Rawley said she would have moved her father’s grave to Kendal, if he hadn’t specified he wanted to be buried in Ambleside.

She added: “I was looking at his stone the other day. We engraved the following to reflect why he lay there. It says ‘Too well loved to ever be forgotten’.

“That’s exactly why I’m fighting this.”