GRIEVING visitors are struggling to find the graves of their loved ones in a “disgracefully overgrown” cemetery.

Malcolm Copeland, 66, visits the Burrs Road cemetery, in Great Clacton, at least three times a week to pay his respects to his late mother and father.

Although he keeps his plot neat and tidy, he despairs at the overall state of the cemetery grounds.

“Some of the grass comes up to your chin now,” he said.

“It is disgraceful and disrespectful to leave it in this state.”

Mr Copeland has made regular trips to the cemetery over the past 20 years, but calls its current state “the worst he has ever seen”.

He even said he had witnessed elderly visitors struggling to find their loved ones’ graves.

“It doesn’t look like it did before and that’s putting it mildly,” he said.

“I did hear from my local councillor who apologised and said it will be done, but he can’t say when.

“I took my sister up there and said to me she’d never seen anything like it.

“When I was up there the other day I saw four people looking for graves.

“There was a lady there who was 85, looking for her father’s grave, but couldn’t find it through all the grass.

“It was so long she just couldn’t see it.”

He added: “I will try and visit about three times a week and keep my parents’ graves looking respectful.

“I used to take my mother there when my father died 20 years ago.

“I don’t think the grass has been cut in the past year.”

Tendring Council, responsible for maintaining the cemetery, said the authority is trying to achieve a balance between nature and memorial.

“We always keep clear, neat pathways and cemeteries are also kept clear of litter and debris, including dog fouling, bins are emptied and they are not neglected,” he said.

“We are also improving the quality of grass cutting in the children’s section and other regularly visited areas. Following issues raised by visitors we are looking at developing our grass cutting programme for cemeteries in general.”