A RIDDLE has emerged over the identity of creatures causing a stink at a cemetery.
Residents took to Facebook to express their fury over what looked like dog excreta next to gravestones in Flint Cemetery on Old London Road.
Owners allowing this to happen had been described as disgraceful and disrespectful, with calls being made to clamp down on them with tough penalties.
But it could have been a case of mistaken identity, with Flintshire Council pointing the finger at badgers.
Flint councillor Alex Aldridge called in the experts, who expressed their belief that it was caused by the animals living in a nearby sett.
Cllr Aldridge, whose parents are buried at the site, said: “The council have had conservationists down there and they think that it could be badger droppings.
“There was a lot of concern that it was dog muck, but after investigation work by the council after they were contacted, it appears that investigators have identified a lot of the waste material as from badgers.”
Ian Vaughan-Evans, interim public protection manager for Flintshire Council, said: “This is not a dog fouling issue.
“Unfortunately, badgers enter the cemetery from the adjoining fields and woodland and continue to return to the same ground as they go back to their scent.
“It is difficult to prevent badgers from entering the cemetery.
“We are looking into means by which we can safely deter the badgers without harming them or damaging the cemetery grounds.”
Cllr Aldridge conceded that dog fouling could still be taking place, however, and he said owners needed to make sure they were keeping dogs on leads and to pick up any mess.
The investigations began after Cllr Aldridge informed the council about the complaints over alleged dog fouling.
He said: “People who go there should show the utmost respect to what the area is.
“It is a place where people’s loved ones are interned.
“My mum has been gone for 38 years, but I still go there to think of our memories.
“As far as I am concerned it’s hallowed ground and nobody should be disturbing the peace and quiet and sanctity.”
Unfortunately, if the mess is being caused by badgers, it will prove more difficult to prevent them from fouling on the land.
Yvonne Derbyshire, 60, formally of Flint but now of Wepre Drive, Connah’s Quay, was devastated when she discovered what she believed to be dog fouling next to her parents’ grave last Friday.
Mrs Derbyshire said she was visiting the cemetery to mark the anniversary of her mother’s death and before leaving had seen a post from another resident on Facebook berating the amount of what she believed to be dog mess at the site.
She said the incident was very upsetting and added: “I went to put flowers on my parents’ grave and found a pile of poo.
“It was upsetting more than anything. You don’t expect to see that.”
She added: “I was hoping that it wasn’t anywhere near their grave, but when I got there it was right on it.
“Luckily I had a dog bag with me because I have got a ‘staffie’ and I always have them with me.”