Grave carer’s call to clean up Woodgrange Park Cemetery

Agi Kalisz has gone out of his own way to try to do something to take care of Woodgrange Park Cemete

Agi Kalisz has gone out of his own way to try to do something to take care of Woodgrange Park Cemetery because it has fallen into disrepair - Credit: Archant

Calls are being made to clean up an old cemetery that has “fallen into disrepair”.

Agi Kalisz has gone out of his own way to try to do something to take care of Woodgrange Park Cemete

Agi Kalisz has gone out of his own way to try to do something to take care of Woodgrange Park Cemetery because it has fallen into disrepair - Credit: Archant

Agi Kalisz, 37, of Second Avenue, Manor Park, visits Woodgrange Cemetery in nearby Tenbury Close every weekend and insists the Victorian graveyard is becoming “a mess”.

Agi, who is a grave carer at a cemetery in North London, said he was shocked after witnessing the state of the area.

He said: “The difference between the cemetery I work at and Woodgrange is great. It looks like the area has not been taken care of in a long time.

“I was shocked when I saw the headstones fallen across the floor. It needs to be sorted out as it is in very poor quality at the moment.”

Agi’s wife, Karolina, 33, said her husband is passionate about his job, which is why he is calling for Woodgrange Cemetery to be cleared.

She said: “Agi only started working at cemeteries a few months back. He has combined his profession and work into one now which is why he cares about Woodgrange.

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“We live locally and the cemetery looks messy, it really should be taken better care of.”

But, Wayne Bufton, superintendant of Woodgrange Park Cemetery, which is owned by Essex based Badgehurst Ltd, said the cemetery is signed up to a “pay back into the community” scheme.

As part of the scheme, up to eight offenders visit the cemetery three times a week to keep it clean.

Mr Bufton said: “We started the scheme two and a half years ago. The offenders come from Sunday to Tuesday and the difference they have made in the last two years is brilliant. The area is a lot cleaner and has been taken care of.

“There is mess at the front of the cemetery which includes old headstones but this will also be cleaned up soon.”

A section of the cemetery was sold in 1995 for a small housing development to be built on the north east end of the grounds.

As part of the sale, £500,000 was put aside for the maintenance of the cemetery and it is believed part of this fund will be used to clear the front mess in the cemetery.

Mr Bufton added: “The money is set to be released and I believe we will be able to start cleaning the front area in mid February.

“We have had a few complaints in the past and we urge any local residents that have any issues regarding the cemetery to get in touch.”

A Newham Council spokesperson added: “We recognise residents’ concerns regarding the maintenance of Woodgrange Park Cemetery, which is owned by Badgehurst Limited.

“Currently work has been commissioned for contractors to clear damaged headstones at the cemetery in Romford Road, and Newham Council and Badgehurst are in the process of establishing a trust which will manage the future upkeep of the site.”

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