A council worker went to her father's grave in Wellingborough to lay flowers, only to find it covered in a pile of earth.
Marcia Sinclair, who lives in Northampton but grew up in Wellingborough, went to the Doddington Road Cemetery as she does every year around Christmas and on her father's birthday to pay her respects.
Accompanied by her sister and her daughter on Boxing Day, Ms Sinclair had planned to lay the flowers and leave a bottle of rum out for her dad, who passed away in 1989.
"When I got there I saw all the dirt on the grave," said the 53-year-old council worker.
"It was even difficult to get close to the headstone.
"We were all very upset to see it like that."
The pile of earth originated from a grave plot on the same row, which was being prepared for a funeral after Christmas.
Ms Sinclair argued that more could have been done to avoid the dirt being placed on her father's grave and could, for example, have been transported to a skip using a wheelbarrow.
The cemetery is managed by Wellingborough Norse on behalf of the borough council.
A spokeswoman for the local authority said: "Staff at Doddington Road Cemetery, which is managed by Wellingborough Norse on behalf of Wellingborough Council, are passionate about ensuring that visitors to the cemetery have a pleasant experience.
"On this occasion, there was a burial immediately after Christmas and it was necessary to prepare the grave on Christmas Eve.
"Colleagues work hard to ensure that there is minimum disruption caused to visitors and limit this as much as possible, making sure that an area is left tidy after a funeral."