PRESSURE from local residents has forced a council into admitting it will improve and reopen an access point at a Radnorshire cemetery.

The Crabtree Walk access point at the Old Knighton Cemetery was cut off by the county council due to safety fears a couple of years ago.

Powys County Council (PCC) has now said that it will reopen and make improvements to the access point at the bottom of the graveyard after listening to concerns raised by the local community, as well as changes to waste collection arrangements within the cemetery.

The original closure of the access point caused a fiery rift between locals and the council, with drastic action taken by a local group of protestors – calling themselves Offas Rockers – who took matters into their own hands.

In March, after a large wooden fence was built to barricade the entrance shut by the county council, anonymous members of the group initially trimmed a hedge, allowing locals to squeeze through and gain access to the graveyard.

That prompted immediate action from the local authority, who extended the original barrier through the hedge to the roadside, leaving passage impossible. Due to the conflict, and entrance’s proximity to the Wales/England border, the barrier had become known colloquially in Knighton as 'Fortress Glyndwr'.

Offas Rockers hit back instantaneously, demolishing the barrier and once again providing access for mourners. The group said a lack of dialogue from the council forced them to take matters “into their own hands”.

Councillor Beverley Baynham, PCC’s cabinet member for regulatory services, said: “After listening to concerns from local residents and changing the types of waste bins within the cemetery grounds, we will be able to re-open the access point at the bottom of the Old Knighton Cemetery.”

As part of the improvement works, the council will resurface the pathway and add a handrail to the sloping path. The single large waste bin, currently located near one of the lychgates, will also be replaced with smaller wheeled bins located at each access point allowing visitors to the cemetery to deposit waste in the bins as they leave.

The council is also urging dog walkers who visit the cemetery to clear up after their pet immediately after it has fouled.

It is an offence to allow a dog in your control, even if you're walking someone else's dog, to foul in a public place and to fail to clean it up immediately after it has fouled. Public places include footpaths, playing fields, parks, car parks, churchyards and cemeteries. Anyone who fails to clear up after their dog can face fines of up to £1,000.

“We hope visitors to the Old Knighton Cemetery use the new bins correctly, including dog walkers,” added Cllr Baynham.

“There have been occasions when our grass cutting contractors have threatened not to the cut the grass in the cemetery because of the health risk it poses to their employees while they are strimming.

“The majority of dog owners are responsible but there is a minority who let their communities down by allowing their dogs to foul in public. We would urge residents and visitors to report any dog fouling incidents to the council.”

If you have concerns about unacceptable behaviour at a Powys cemetery, contact the council’s environmental protection team on 01597 827467 or email

To report incidents of dog fouling in your areas, visit