Quad bikes blamed for gravedigger track marks in Devon

Image caption,
Track marks were left at the council-owned cemetery in Ottery St Mary, Devon

A town council has blamed quad bikes for damaging its own cemetery when a truck digging graves was the cause.

Ottery St Mary Town Council in Devon said the bikes left messy ruts in the ground - resulting in worried locals checking their loved ones' graves.

However, the council later made a U-turn and said the tracks had in fact been caused by a grave digger's truck instructed by the undertaker.

It apologised for "any upset this matter has caused".

A number of people commented on the council's social media post criticising it for jumping to conclusions.

Image source, FACEBOOK
Image caption,
The council has been criticised for not checking its facts before posting to Facebook

One person said: "I'm more annoyed with the council for the upset they have now caused because they haven't checked their facts. I'm not the only person who has family in that cemetery who will have been angry and worried this morning."

Another said the town council should "get its facts straight" and "be more professional".

In a statement, the head of Ottery St Mary Town Council, Christine McIntyre, said she was notified of the track marks by a member of the public.

Image caption,
Worried locals visited the graves of loved ones after hearing about the "quad bike" track marks

"It is very unusual the truck would have caused deep ruts of this nature," she said.

"However, the undertakers who instructed the gravedigger have advised the vehicle was used in inclement weather, hence the resultant appearance of the cemetery.

"The undertaker has assured the council the gravedigger will rectify the matter when he next goes into the cemetery to carry out work.

"Apologies for any upset this matter has caused as we know that the cemetery is very precious to the community."

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