GRIEVING relatives say headstones are being crammed into an overcrowded garden of remembrance, making it impossible for mourners to pay their respects to loved ones.
Visitors to the garden at Christ Church in Wharton claim that soon the only way mourners will be able to tend to plaques will be by treading on other graves.
They say the garden, which is full of the ashes of cremated loved ones, is becoming so overcrowded that many stone tablets covering grave plots are obscured from view. The compact layout of the Vale Royal Borough Council-owned site also makes it 'almost impossible' for many elderly visitors to tend to graves.
Joan Gibbons, 57, regularly visits the grave of her father Cyril War-burton, who died in 1997, and mother Barbara, who died in 2001, and said she is disgusted at the state of the garden.
Mrs Gibbons, of Newall Crescent, Winsford, said her father, who spent five years in a POW camp in Germany, deserves to be treated with more respect.
She said: 'It's getting so packed that soon the only way you will be able to tend to the graves will be by walking over other people's graves.
'I don't want to step on anyone's graves and I wouldn't want anyone treading on my mum and dad's grave, because it is disrespectful.
'If people are going to be climbing over stone tablets to get to graves then they are going to get damaged and it is totally unacceptable.'
She says she is furious the council is planning to pack in more even more graves in the few remaining spaces and has contacted Vale Royal to complain.
Fellow mourner Eileen Noden, 76, of Hill Street, who tends to her husband Rolland's grave, said: 'Some of them are packed in so tight it's a disgrace. You can't see some of the stone tablets because they are obscured by graves in front.'
George Ledwards, 75, of Newark Crescent, tends to the graves of his parents and wife Christine and said: 'Who is going to pay for the damage when tablets get broken because of this?
'We don't want to walk on others' graves or have anyone walking over our relatives.'
A council spokesman said: 'Vale Royal Borough Council is aware of residents' concerns surrounding the garden of remembrance and shares their concerns.
'We are currently investigating several improvement options for the garden, including the possibility of extending the existing site. We are seeking to resolve this sensitive matter as quickly as possible.'