An update on the Burial Service and maintenance of the cemeteries
To share an operational update on the burial service and grounds maintenance carried out over the period affected by CV-19
Burial Service and COVID-19 –
We have received further guidance from the Institute of Cemetery & Cremation Management. During the current lockdown funerals can continue with up to a maximum of 30 people and it is advised that only close family and friends attend. Linked ceremonial events such as the interment of ashes can also continue, but will be subject to a maximum of 6 people. Anyone working is not included in numbers. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble. The cemetery and open spaces staff have been updated with this information and will continue to be at work at a reduced staffing level during this lockdown. Overall there have not been as many interments as expected taking the average figures from previous years.
Highbridge Cemetery Footpath – Update from last meeting. The main central path has been tarmacked, and also the area at the front of the cemetery where there was a water leak and the gate has been replaced, so the project is now complete.
Trees at Burnham Cemetery
Burnham Cemetery saw a Beech fall in December, this appeared to be due to a fungal infection, the cemetery was temporarily closed whilst the overhanging branches of a neighbouring tree were removed. The area was tapped off and signs placed, warning people of the fallen tree.
Unfortunately, another two neighbouring pine trees fell in January. A tree surgeon suggested that it was likely that the combination of saturated ground and the recent loss of the beech exposed the nearby trees to higher winds than they have grown to tolerate. There is one remaining tree in the area and a tree surgeon says in appears not to be in any danger of falling.
Three quotes were received and work has started on the removal of all three trees, there is only the main trunks left to remove, which should be completed by Sunday 21st Feb. Once the work is complete then the cemetery will be re-opened to the public 24/7. It is currently open only when the caretaker is on site, but not whilst the tree work is being done.
Report author: Lorna Williams – Deputy Town Clerk
Report Date: 18th February 2021