Resident’s plea to ‘bring back sheep’ to Foulridge graveyard

St Michael's Church, Foulridge.

St Michael's Church, Foulridge.

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Calls have been made to “bring back sheep” to a Foulridge graveyard.

The suggestion has been made by resident Anne Meachem, who feels that something needs to be done about land at the bottom end of St Michael and All Angels Church.

According to the grandmother-of-three, the site used to be “pristine”, as sheep were allowed to eat the grass during the year at regular intervals, and a notice would be put on the gate to inform people not to put flowers on graves for a few days.

Mrs Meachem said: “The church was and still is lovely and the graveyard was well maintained.

“Some people believed the sheep were damaging the headstones and they were now leaning over. But the new ones are leaning over.

“We all know money is short in all areas so it makes sense to bring back the sheep.”

However, according to St Michael and All Angels Church treasurer Karen Wilkinson and church wardens Barbara Wilkinson and Barbara Payne, sheep were stopped from coming into the church graveyard 14 to 15 years ago following complaints.

While they accept that two sections of the graveyard are more overgrown than the rest, they state it is for conservation purposes, and to prevent a hazard on the steep slope.

They added that areas surrounding the graves are maintained on a regular basis by a parishioner, and £10,000 has recently been spent on making the graveyard more safe.

The church wardens went on to invite residents to come and visit the site and added that any donations to help with the upkeep of the church would be gratefully received.