October 7, 2020 4.50 pm This story is over 42 months old

Fears dogs could poo on loved ones’ ashes spark new cemetery rules

Woman saw dogs running free in the cemetery

Dogs will have to be kept on a lead in parts of Market Deeping Cemetery after fears they could poo on or dig up the scattered remains of loved ones.

South Kesteven District Council’s cabinet will be asked to approve next Tuesday a new public spaces protection order (PSPO) requiring canines to be kept on leads of no more than 1metre in The Spinney.

Market Deeping Town Council called for the new restrictions after a recently-widowed woman visited the area ahead of having her husband’s ashes scattered there.

The council said the lady witnessed dogs running free among the wooded planting area, scratching around the earth where ashes were scattered and even defecating in the area.

“The council welcomes dogs in both the cemetery and The Spinney, but it is a matter of concern that these incidents caused the lady considerable distress,” said the council.

“The lady has enquired whether something can be done to prevent this from happening as she cannot bring herself to scatter her husband’s ashes while there is a possibility that his ashes could be disturbed in this way.”

They said the route was a popular one for dog walkers adding: “it is unlikely these incidents would have been isolated occurrences”.

“The disturbance of scattered cremated remains and the potential distress this has already caused, and may cause in the future, to bereaved family and friends, is something that the council wish to safeguard against,” they said.

“The council is keen to offer the lady reassurances so that she can carry out her wishes but, as there are no formal measures in place to restrict the movement of dogs, it is unable to do so.”

A public consultation on the measure saw 71.4% of people agree or strongly agree.

The cabinet will also look at approving extensions of current dog fouling and alcohol control PSPOs.