A GRIEVING mum was so upset at the overgrown state of Middlewich Cemetery she got down on her hands and knees and cut the grass with scissors.

Ann Madeley, 77, said she is appalled that the area surrounding her son's grave is so neglected.

Winsford Guardian:

Rugby player and former air cadet Steven Madeley, 55, who died in March 2019 after suddenly becoming ill

"It's a disgrace," said great gran Ann, from Middlewich. "I took my old scissors with me to cut it. I cut the grass on two graves either side to make it tidy and filled a carrier bag.

"The grass is left to grow far too long and then when they do cut it they never pick it up. It goes brown and dries and then the breeze blows it everywhere and it sticks to the headstones. You have to scrub it to get it off."

Winsford Guardian:

Grass is not collected, left to go brown and blown onto headstones

An overgrown hawthorn hedge is also obstructing a footpath in the new section of the cemetery.

"This hedge is getting quite dangerous and desperately needs cutting," said mum-of-two Ann. "The brambles are going to take someone's eye out. It's seven foot high and dangling onto the footpath.

Winsford Guardian:

An overgrown hawthorn hedge is obstructing a footpath in the new section of Middlewich Cemetery

"My husband Alec has Parkinson's and shuffles along very slowly using his walker and struggles to get past the brambles. I can't walk by his side to help him, the footpath is so narrow now."

Ann's son Steven, 55, died 18 months ago after suddenly becoming ill.

"He kept falling over which was so unusual the doctor sent him to hospital straight away," said Ann. "A scan found he had a very severe brain tumour. They gave him two years but he died seven months later.

"It was such a shock to find him so ill from being so fit and well. He rode a bike every day and played rugby. The last time he had been to the doctor was when he was four and had his tonsils out.

"Everything happened so quickly, he'd gone totally blind within three weeks and three weeks later he couldn't walk and was in a wheelchair."

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Steven was an award-winning employee at plastics firm Schoeller Allibert in Winsford, where he worked for 17 years.

"They thought the world of him and were absolutely brilliant," said Ann. "They couldn't do enough for us."

Steven loved walking and never went out without his camera.

"He was in awe of nature and came back with absolutely brilliant photographs including a close up of an eagle."

The former Middlewich High School pupil and air cadet was always helping neighbours.

"He was a gentle giant," said Ann. "Extremely thoughtful of other people."

Ann said the cemetery grounds have deteriorated since her son's death in March 2019.

"When his grave was first placed it was kept neat and tidy but since then it’s just gone downhill rapidly," said Ann. "If I could I'd volunteer to cut the grass myself," said Ann. "But I'm 77 and have a back problem."

Middlewich Cemetery Management Board was unavailable for comment.