STAFFING issues have led to a cemetery’s upkeep being neglected - forcing mourners to use their own grass cutters and strimmers to cut their way to their loved ones’ graves.

Patricia Wilkes, of Highfield Road, visits the graves of her parents and her late husband David at Darfield Cemetery every few days.

But the overgrown state of the site has led the 71-year-old to buy a strimmer of her own to take matters into her own hands.

“I’m born and bred in Darfield,” she said.

“My husband has been dead for five years in May, and my mum and dad have been dead more than 15 years - I have seen it getting worse as the years go by.

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“I’ve been up to my knees in grass and weeds when walking to the graves.

“It’s a bit insulting when the crematoriums look like bowling greens - all perfectly kept.

“It just shouldn’t be like this when you go to visit your loved ones.”

The council have now said they will be cutting the grass at the cemetery within the next week - citing staffing issues as the reason for the lack of upkeep.

Paul Castle, service director for environment and transport, said: “We’re sorry to hear that some people have found it hard to visit graves due to the grass, which has grown quickly in warm and wet conditions.

“We'll be cutting the grass at Darfield cemetery in the next week.

“Recently we’ve had to redeploy some staff onto burials, which means we’ve had fewer people to cut the grass.

“If anyone is concerned about other areas of maintenance of the cemetery, please contact us on bereavementservices@barnsley.gov.uk or 206053.”