Improvements to the small babies’ section at Hazlehead Cemetery

Improvements are to be carried out to the small babies’ section at Hazlehead Cemetery after safety concerns have been raised over memorabilia being placed and permanently left on the grass area and near the grass edge.

The grass areas in between headstones allow bereaved families unhindered access to the headground and their memorials and memorabilia left on the grass may be caught up and thrown from machinery causing severe injury to visitors to the cemetery or staff.

For these reasons, Aberdeen City Council, in common with other local authorities throughout the country, do not allow memorabilia to be permanently placed on the grass or near to the grass edge.

The headground at the top of the graves is for the placing of memorials and other items such as cut flowers or mementos. Flowers etc may be placed on the grave following a funeral and these are removed, once they are withered.

To accommodate small mementoes alongside the existing spaces for flowers, the space at the headstones is to be increased to 6” and work on increasing the size will start just after 1 April and should be finished by 7 April.

Anyone who has memorabilia on the grass at a grave in the small babies’ section or is asked kindly to remove these items by 1 April 2018. Any remaining memorabilia will be sensitively moved and placed within the walled paved area around the SANDS memorial within the small babies’ section. Mementoes will be left in the walled paved garden until 19 May 2018 and then collected and stored for a further six weeks, until 30 June 2018.

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “We appreciate that this is a sensitive and emotional matter for everyone concerned, and we are carrying out this work in the interests of trying to satisfy and respect the needs of all cemetery users, as well as ensure the maintenance of the cemetery is carried out safely.

“The tasks will be carried out by our staff in a sensitive and dignified manner, and we hope people will understand why the improvements are being carried out.”

The Cemeteries and Burial Grounds Management Rules are on display within the Cemetery’s Notice Board.