The mystery behind “grave digging” at Bruntcliffe Cemetery has been unearthed.
Concerned dogwalkers contacted the Observer & Advertiser after spotting turf which had been dug up around gravestones, moving some of the smaller memorials.
Rumour had it that criminals were searching for “grave goods” in the grounds of the cemetery over night with metal detectors.
But in fact the damage is believed to have been caused by an animal such as a badger or a dog.
Beverley and Ian Moore from Bruntcliffe noticed that a grave had been “dug up” last week inside the Bruntcliffe Lane cemetery.
The retired couple who live near the cemetery were then further alarmed when several more graves looked as if they had been targeted over the weekend.
Mrs Moore said: “They look like trenches and some holes are quite deep, one is about two foot deep. The holes are mainly by old graves but one grave is still tended to by a family. And obviously it’s upsetting for the family.”
However, Leeds City Council, which owns the cemetery, and investigated the matter have since allayed fears.
“We believe that an animal has caused minor damage to a small number of graves in Bruntcliffe cemetery. We are currently in the process of reinstating the graves and will write to the graves owners affected,” said a council spokeswoman.
Coun Judith Elliott who was “appalled” by the damage done expressed her relief that it was not humans that have caused the “strange” holes in the ground.