Distress for relatives as Knebworth cemetery flood goes on

Flooding at the Gun Road Gardens Cemetery in Knebworth.

Flooding at the Gun Road Gardens Cemetery in Knebworth. - Credit: Archant

Disquiet is growing among relatives and friends of those buried at a Knebworth cemetery as parts of the site remain flooded after more than a week.

Gun Road Gardens Cemetery at the southern end of the village is on low-lying land next to fields and the railway line, with the graves mostly on the east side nearest the railway.

Nicola Price is among those concerned by what she says is an all too predictable occurrence.

“This has been an issue for many years,” she told the Comet.

“One of the flooded graves is that of my grandfather, and it’s not a pleasant experience for my grandmother who is quite distressed about it all.

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“This is made worse by the fact that she has purchased a joint plot!

“She can’t even get up there at the moment because of mobility issues.

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“Neighbours and friends on Facebook have been expressing anger and upset about the current lot of flooding.”

Councillor Peter Burt, North Herts District Council’s executive member with responsibility for cemeteries, said: “The substantial amount of rainfall recently has caused flooding at the Gun Road Gardens Cemetery and neighbouring gardens.

“This is largely due to the cemetery being located on low-lying land, therefore it becomes a run-off for surface water from the adjacent farmers’ fields and railway embankment.”

Mrs Price recognises this, but still feels the council has not done enough.

She said: “I appreciate it’s going to be a problem with the rain coming down off the fields, but I am not aware of them attempting to protect the graves or introduce some sort of drainage.

“If they have, they have not shared the implications with local people, or at least not those I have heard from.”

Mr Burt said: “We appreciate that this must be distressing for bereaved families and friends and we hope that the water will disperse quickly.

“In the meantime, planned burials will continue to take place and will be relocated to unaffected areas of the cemetery.”

A district council spokeswoman told the Comet that an inspection would be carried out today.

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