Croydon Cemetery has become so overgrown some are having trouble finding the graves of their loved ones.

Earlier this month, 91-year-old Keith McDowall made the trip to Croydon from Islington to visit the grave of his father, William, who died in 1942.

But, in what he said was ‘possibly his last visit’ he was unable to find the grave due to the cemetery being so overgrown.

He said: “To my total amazement and disgust I was unable to find the grave though I had the number and knew approximately its location.

“I tried for over an hour but so overgrown is the cemetery that the place is beyond recognition.

Your Local Guardian: KeithKeith

"I appreciate that the council has financial problems but presumably it still retains some maintenance staff and they have not sold off all the lawnmowers.”

He is not the only one who has complained about the conditions at the cemetery – now known as the Mitcham Road Cemetery –  in Thornton Heath.

Georgia White noticed the grass getting longer about two months ago, she visits the graves of her grandparents at the cemetery every two weeks.

The 26-year-old says the part of the cemetery where her grandmother Doris Coulson – who died in 2007 – is buried, is particularly overgrown.

Your Local Guardian: ( L to R) Georgia and her grandmother Doris ( L to R) Georgia and her grandmother Doris

She said: “I noticed they were cutting the grass where the entrance was but round where my nan is it is an older part of the cemetery, I’ve noticed they’ve let the grass get very long. I am 5ft 1in and the grass is almost as tall as me.”

On a visit to the cemetery last week, she took her own pair of shears to cut the grass around her nan’s grave.

“The last thing I want to worry about when I visit is getting shears out, I am just going there to pay my respects,” said Georgia.

“It makes me feel really sad, it is more the respect thing.

“We have a lot of family members buried there and have always chosen the cemetery because it is normally very well kept but for some reason it has been left overgrown.

“It is not just me, when I was over there I was speaking to other people one was having to put down weed killer and another person brought an actual lawnmower.”

Your Local Guardian: Image: KeithImage: Keith

Mr McDowall complained directly to the cemetery’s grounds managers about the conditions by email and a response confirmed that “all grounds maintenance activities have been dramatically reduced across the borough” due to Croydon Council’s current financial state.

But cabinet member for sustainable Croydon, councillor Muhammad Ali, said that the grass at Croydon’s cemeteries is now set to be cut in the next fortnight.

He said: “We’re allocating some extra resources to grass cutting in our cemeteries and should have these issues resolved within the next two weeks, weather permitting.”