A woman said she has not been able to find the graves of her family for two months because of overgrown grass and weeds.

Furious Dawn Barnett visits Lewes Cemetery every two weeks to pay respects to her parents, grandparents and other family.

She said her grandparent’s graves have become lost in weeds and overgrown four foot tall grass in the historic town.

 “My grandparents, my uncles and mum and dad are here. I told two workmen two months ago that it was disgraceful”, she said.

The Argus: The overgrown part of the cemetery and part that has been kept cut downThe overgrown part of the cemetery and part that has been kept cut down (Image: The Argus)

“I don’t want to get bitten to shreds, I got bitten by a horsefly once and there are ticks around. My nan and grandad’s grave is white and flat, you can’t even see it. It’s no respect for the dead. It should be kept nice.

“People need to see their family’s graves. I don’t know why one side is neglected and one side isn’t.

“It needs cutting back and maintaining. Every time I come up here I have to drag away the ivy in the hedges.”

Grass in other parts of the cemetery is cut short. A large section of it remains overgrown which is mostly older graves.

The Argus: The overgrown part of the cemetery highlighted in redThe overgrown part of the cemetery highlighted in red (Image: The Argus/Google Maps)

Dawn, who was previously a city councillor in Hangleton, Hove, added: “Through the summer months it should be maintained. I understand in the winter. If you can’t get the workers, get the people doing community service.

“The cemetery was beautiful even last summer. It was never like this over the years. I haven’t seen my grandparents' graves in eight weeks.

“It’s a trip hazard especially as you can’t see the graves in the grass. You could fall, break your neck and never get up.

“People still visit the graves.”

Residents in Lewes banded together in 2016 to campaign against the use of pesticides in the town.

The Argus: Tall grass in the graveyardTall grass in the graveyard (Image: The Argus)

Lewes District Council has since changed its approach to more environmentally friendly methods such as foam stream machine which uses hot foam to kill weeds.

The council has also tried other methods to help improve biodiversity and allow wildflowers to grow by reducing their mowing schedule.

Brighton and Hove City Council also opted to stop using glyphosate weed killer in 2019.

A council spokesman said: “We apologise unreservedly to Ms Barnett. Her experience at Lewes Cemetery is not acceptable.

The Argus: Lewes District Council will look to improve the cutting of its cemeteriesLewes District Council will look to improve the cutting of its cemeteries (Image: The Argus)

“Pathways through the grass areas are maintained and cut regularly to ensure people have access. 

"Additionally, if we receive a request from a grave owner, we will cut a pathway to the grave and an area around it. This will be done for Ms Barnett.

“As part of our biodiversity and pollinator strategies, we have encouraged the growth of wildflowers by reducing the frequency of mowing in these areas.  

“However, going forward we will better balance these priorities with the views of our residents and particularly those who visit the cemeteries.

“All our cemeteries will be cut fully during September and October.”