Mourners are to be offered compensation after hundreds of roses at a Wiltshire crematorium were eaten by deer.
More than 700 roses were bought by bereaved families between 2001 and 2011
and planted in a memorial garden at Salisbury Crematorium. But according to the council the plants have been "severely and permanently
damaged" by deer. Councillors have now agreed to a compensation scheme, which could cost the
authority up to £8,500.
The memorial roses had been available as part of a 10-year agreement but that
was stopped two years ago as the plants could not be protected from deer
damage. Last February, the decision was made not to cull or relocate the animals. Since then the animals have continued to eat the remaining memorial roses in
the crematorium grounds, as well as flowers left on graves in the cemetery.
"They are particularly keen on roses," said Reg Williams, from Salisbury City
Council. "It's several hundred plants that have been eaten, to the point that they're
barely recognisable. We have all the records of the people who purchased through the rose
memorial scheme and will be writing to them and hoping they will be happy with
the level of compensation."