A picturesque wildflower meadow that was supposed to provide a natural resting place for people in Scarborough has ended up resembling a ploughed field.
That is the view of Geoffrey Proudlock, a course leader at CU Scarborough, whose friend John Beagle was one of the first people to be laid to rest in the meadow section of Woodlands Cemetery.
Mr Beagle, a popular local musician, opted for the natural burial and Mr Proudlock has visited his friend’s grave every year since he died – but has been less than impressed with what he found.
He said: “John was buried in the Wildlflower Meadow at Woodlands Cemetery in June 2013. He had sadly passed away from cancer and we had spent some time arranging his funeral and he was somewhat ironically excited at the thought of having a natural burial in the town he loved and where he spent much of his life. The meadow was fairly new but he said he was content to be there as an almost founding father.
“We knew that it was in its early stages of development but five years later it is still a mess. It appears to be constantly waterlogged, it is constantly under improvement. In fact, it looks like a piece of wasteland. I have contacted SBC yearly and they don’t seem to be overly concerned or interested.
"I am concerned that the sale of these plots doesn’t seem to be going well and it could be because of the poor environmental management.
“There has been a sign on the gate to the meadow saying ‘improvement work taking place’ that has been up since 2014.
"It has been there so long that the pins are rusted, yet nothing has changed. If anything it has got worse. It looks like weed killer has been used on it, which is obviously a no-no.” Despite repeated pleas to Scarborough Council he has got no answer as to when the meadow may start to look like an actual meadow.
John Beagle died at the age of 79 in July 2013.
Originally from Hessle, near Hull, Mr Beagle moved to Scarborough to care for his mother and became involved in many groups throughout his career, including the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, Scarborough Musical Theatre Company and Hull Bach Choir.
When picking where to be laid to rest he opted for the Wildflower Meadow.
On Scarborough Council’s website it says of the meadow: “Within three weeks of the interment in a meadow grave the surface will be reseeded by the authority using seed from Hay Meadows.
“The area will be maintained as a meadow and will be cut at least twice a year at the discretion of the authority to encourage the spread of wildflower seeds.”
To be buried there costs upwards of £1,000.
Scarborough Council did not respond when asked for an update by The Scaborough News.