Wind-damaged trees to be removed from Methven Cemetery

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Contractors will begin a major cleanup tomorrow at Methven Cemetery, which suffered significant tree damage during the high winds last month.

The public is asked to stay away from the cemetery while the trees are being felled, although work is halted to allow burials.

Ashburton County Council manages the cemetery, and Steve Fabish, community services group leader, said the clearing is expected to continue through October 11.

“It’s a big job and the contractor is removing wind damaged trees and other vulnerable trees.

“Most of the damage is on the east side and while the contractors have their heavy machinery there, we will also be cutting down some trees at the north end of the cemetery. These trees shade the area and have a negative effect on the room. “

Trees at Methven-Chertsey Road cemetery entrance will be retained, although individual trees identified as unstable or dangerous will be removed.

Mr Fabish said removing the trees would allow the soil to be prepared for future cemetery lots.

“More work will be needed to clear stumps and gaps created by the deforestation, and the walkway that leads to the end of the cemetery will be restored once the deforestation is complete.”

The Methven Cemetery has burial logs dating back to 1883, and the council is also working with the Methven Lions Club to clean up some of the older tombstones that have been overgrown by lichen and moss.

Local contractor Harmer Earthmoving will be clearing the trees this week.