Builders dump tons of soil on graves in Nottingham

‘Fuming’ daughter arrives at cemetery to find builders had dumped a huge mound of soil on her parents’ graves

  • Lynn Lane said council workers had pushed aside ornaments on the graves
  • The 55-year-old NHS health care assistant called the act ‘disrespectful’ 
  • Gedling Borough Council said it takes every care to make sure that no damage is done when digs take place

A heartbroken daughter has slammed a local council after her parents’ graves were covered in a huge mound of soil.

Lynn Lane said she is ‘absolutely fuming with Nottingham’s Gedling Borough Council after cemetery workers decided to leave ‘tons of soil’ on her parents’ resting spot.

The 55-year-old NHS health care assistant called the act ‘disrespectful’ as ornaments and gifts from family, including grandchildren, were pushed aside.


A huge mound of soil was left of Lynn Lane’s parent’s graves (right). Plastic bottles and other bits of litter can be seen scattered around the grave of her father (left)

Gedling Borough Council said that the soil was put on the grave by Carlton Cemetery workers in order to dig up a new plot and that this was common practice at the Cavendish Road site.

But Mrs Lane, from Gedling, said it was not acceptable for her parents’ final resting spots to be treated in this way.

Her parents, Brenda and Derek Varney, 71 and 73, are buried side by side at the cemetery. Derek, who was the owner of Carlton Hill Coachworks died 10 years ago from heart disease. His wife, a popular barmaid, passed away four years later.


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Mrs Lane said: ‘I visited my parents’ resting place on November 7 at 3.30pm and what I saw has broken my heart. A grave was dug up two down from my parents and all the soil has been dumped on my parents’ plot. This is disrespectful to my parents’ memory.

‘They worked all their lives and they get treated like that just because they have passed away. My dad worked until he died and never retired. They were so well respected in Carlton.

‘That is my parents. I have paid a lot for that plot. You wouldn’t dump soil on someone else’s garden so I don’t expect to go up and visit my parents, when I am upset already, and have to deal with that. It is so disrespectful.’


The mound of soil pushed right up to the grave stones (left). However it seemed that other plots hadn’t been touched during the dig

Mrs Lane said that around three tons of soil had been dumped in total, and that ornaments and plaques with ‘grandma and granddad’ had been moved as a result.

She has written to the council but has not yet received a response. 

Councillor Peter Barnes, portfolio holder for environment at Gedling Borough Council said: ‘We’re very sorry for any distress caused.

‘Unfortunately, where there are burials on older plots that are surrounded by other graves, we have to carry out this type of dig and place soil on adjacent graves.

‘Our team take every care to make sure that no damage is done and graves are tidied and restored but I can understand that to see soil on a loved one’s grave would be distressing and had we known about their visit, we would have taken appropriate action that would have prevented this from happening.’ 

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