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Burial Ground Rules

Oakley & Deane Parish Council is the designated Burial Authority with responsibility for the management and operation of the unconsecrated land known as Oakley & Deane Burial Ground, situated to the west of St Leonard’s church.

The Parish Council is also responsible for maintaining some areas of St Leonard’s Churchyard, which is now a “closed” Burial Ground.

A link to the Rules and Regulations governing the Oakley & Deane Burial Ground is given below.

In addition to the Rules and Regulations, we hope the following reminders will enhance your visit to the Churchyard and the Oakley & Deane Burial Ground, and help to keep visitors to these areas safe:

  • The Churchyard and Burial Ground are areas of tranquil and reverent retreat for the bereaved.  We ask all visitors to respect this and to behave appropriately.
  • Children under the age of 16 who are visiting the Burial Ground must be supervised by an accompanying adult at all times.
  • Please do not bring dogs, other than registered assistance dogs, into the Burial Ground. Please check with the St Leonard’s Church Parish Office before bringing dogs into the Churchyard.
  • When visiting the Churchyard or the Burial Ground please keep to the pathways and avoid walking between graves as the ground may be uneven. Please remember that the Churchyard was designed at a time when less attention was paid to health and safety. Please note in particular that there is an unfenced drop into the fields (a “ha ha”) at the rear of the Churchyard.
  • Some graves have large and heavy headstones or memorials.  lt is essential that children are not allowed to climb on the headstones or memorials or play on, or run between, the graves.
  • Please do not lean on headstones or memorials or use them to pull yourself up. 
  • Do not enter any area in the Churchyard or the Burial Ground that has been cordoned off, and please ensure that you obey any signage or advice in place at the time of your visit.

The Burial Authority conducts regular safety checks of the headstones and memorials in the Churchyard and the Burial Ground.

Following a safety inspection, you may find that a safety notice has been placed on a grave, headstone or memorial.  This action will have been taken by the Burial Authority to reduce the risk from unsafe graves, headstones and memorials and to provide a safe environment for the visiting public.

If the grave or memorial that you are visiting has a safety notice on it, do not attempt to make the grave, headstone or memorial safe yourself as it will need professional attention from a stonemason.   The Burial Authority will send a notice to the grave owner of any safety works required, in writing, at the contact address provided to the Burial Authority.  In the meantime, the Burial Authority may repair, remove or make safe the grave, headstone or memorial if it believes it represents a danger to the public, or if the owner fails to undertake the necessary works within a reasonable time: see the Burial Ground Rules and Regulations below. 

All memorial masons and funeral directors are aware that these safety checks take place throughout the country and should be able to give the owner advice on any repairs needed.

If you are not sure whether your memorial needs remedial work, please contact your memorial mason.

If you have any questions regarding the information on this page or the Burial Ground Rules and Regulations,  please contact the Clerk to the Parish Council, who is also the Authorised Officer of the Burial Authority, on 07983 500372 or email [email protected]

These rules were adopted by the Burial Authority in December 2022 and will apply until further notice.