A SECTION of Gornal Wood Cemetery and Crematorium is being redesigned to give bereaved parents "a calming place to sit, pay tribute and reflect".

The memorial garden, where babies' ashes are scattered, allows families to to sit and contemplate and leave mementoes - such as teddies or toys - in memory of lost children.

However the garden had become "very crowded and chaotic" as the benches provided to sit on are filled with token objects, which are also densely scattered throughout the area.

Dudley Council has now put forward plans to re-design and the garden to create an attractive outdoor space, featuring a wall of compartments - built to look like honeycomb, which would be used to store precious items left by loved ones.

The new design would also include separate uncluttered seats, an extended paved area, plants and small sculptures to appeal to children.

Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member responsible for bereavement services, said: “The memorial garden is an important element of Gornal Wood cemetery, giving bereaved parents a dedicated space to contemplate and lay tributes to their lost children.

"By sensitively re-landscaping the space, with allocated and purpose-built compartments for precious objects and separate seating, we hope to make the area a calming place to sit, pay tribute and reflect."

The project is expected to cost in the region of £29,950 - however the council expects to secure grants of up to £25,250 from two separate trusts and a £200 donation has been received from bereaved parents.

Cllr Kettle added: “We are working closely with the chaplains and parents who have lost a child to create this improved space and hope that work will begin in the spring.”