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Formal ban on camping on site of cemeteries considered by Western Isles Council

Camping on the site of cemeteries in the Western Isles could be formally banned.

It comes in response to a significant increase in visitors to the islands in the last few years.

There has been reports of people setting up camp both in and around cemeteries on the islands.

One such incident was raised in June 2022 after a tent was pitched outside a cemetery in the westside of Lewis, with guy ropes tied to the perimeter fence of the cemetery.

In August this year, burial teams were also made aware of a tent pitched overnight within the grounds of a cemetery in North Uist.

Complaints have been lodged to the local authority by residents who say that camping on such sites is disrespectful.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) is now considering the issue.

In a meeting, the council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee acknowledged that camping could cause distress to cemetery visitors and cause disruption to planned funerals.

A report published by the committee stated: “A cemetery should be regarded as a place of peace for those who have passed on and those who mourn them.

“Visitors to a cemetery are expected to give due consideration, privacy and respect at all times, particularly to any funeral or memorial ceremonies or services taking place.”

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