Fears cemetery work will destroy wildlife

KETTERING. PROTEST'Morris Halesdown has put up posters around Kettering Crematorium protesting to the felling of woodland to make way for an extension to the area.
KETTERING. PROTEST'Morris Halesdown has put up posters around Kettering Crematorium protesting to the felling of woodland to make way for an extension to the area.
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A pensioner fears wildlife next to a town cemetery is under attack as work begins to expand the site.

Morris Halesdown, 77, has criticised Kettering Council for ignoring buzzards, foxes and rabbits which live in woodland at the top of Kettering Crematorium.

The retired window fitter also says the work is taking away the privacy offered to people who visit the graves of loved ones.

But Kettering Council, which manages the site, claims it is carrying out the work sensitively and within environment guidelines.

The work is part of a £2mimprovement programme which includes a 10-week job to extend the existing cemetery.

It involves the cutting of trees from woodland.

Mr Halesdown, who lives in Burton Latimer, regularly goes to the site in Rothwell Road to see the grave of his wife Janet, who died of cancer six months ago.

He said: “I am really concerned about the wildlife which will be affected as the trees are being cut away.

“There are plenty of different species of animals living in there and I fear they will now just disappear.”

He added: “The cutting away of the woodland is also taking away privacy for people coming to the site.

“Before you were backed by woodland, now I’m seeing large industrial buildings.”

Kettering Council’s head of environmental health Shirley Plenderleith said: “The council takes its responsibility to the environment and its customers very seriously.

“The works to extend the cemetery area at Kettering’s Rothwell Road cemetery are being carried out sensitively and in accordance with the relevant planning and environmental guidelines.

“An ecological survey has been carried out as a matter of course.”

She said the trees removed were only planted recently at the site for timber and pledged new trees and flower beds would be planted in the future.

She said: “We are confident that the cemetery will be further improved and enhanced as a result of the works.

“We would ask persons concerned to talk to the staff at the cemetery during their visit in order to attain full information.”