A grieving mother from the Forest of Dean has had to abandon her daily trips to her daughter's grave...because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jemma Roberts runs the Sydney-May Trust in honour of her babydaughter who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in December 2016.

The Cinderford mother, who raises money to buy baby monitors and put headstones on the unmarked graves of children, said she was devastated by the lockdown.

Everyday since I buried Sydney-May I have been to visit her grave. Today with absolutely no warning her gates shut. For many people like myself this will have devastating consequences so please all stay inside. Let’s wipe out covid-19 fast so I can see my baby again!! I BEG.

Jemma Roberts

The Forest of Dean District Council said the decision to shut the gates to cemeteries, including Yew Tree Brake, Mile End and Coleford, follows government guidance.

“We had hoped to keep our cemeteries open on a reduced hours basis,”said the statement from the FoDDC.

“However, government regulations now require us to close thecemeteries completely, apart from when funerals and burials are takingplace. We understand this may be distressing for some.”

Funerals are continuing at the Forest of Dean Crematorium near Cinderford with up to ten members of immediate family being allowed to attend as long as they obey strict rules limiting social contact and non-essential travel.

There are even fewer allowed in Gloucester and Cheltenham and thereare fears that the UK could eventually follow other countries thathave banned all mourners.

New rules brought in the wake of the virus have already restrictedpublic access to chapels of rest, banned limousines and pall bearersand told families to complete funeral arrangements over the phone orvia email.

Many mourners will only be able to see through the funeral throughwebcasting as the Government makes rules to protect the vulnerable andthe over 70s.