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What is Southwark doing?


The Camberwell Cemeteries are full.


In 2007, Justice Secretary and local MP Harriet Harman steered through a new law for people's graves over 75 years old to be dug up for resale - if residents and families agreed.


In 2012, Southwark Council agreed to 're-use' graves - without asking families. In 2013, Southwark cleared veteran hawthorn hedgerows, trees and meadows in Camberwell Old Cemetery to mound over thousands of graves for resale - Woodvale.


In 2016, Southwark cut down two acres of woods without Church permission against huge public opposition to sell 'new' burial plots over Londoners' graves beneath. 10 acres of woods are still to be cleared.


But the final horrific goal - exhuming thousands of people's buried remains and their graves sold off as 'new' inner city burial plots.


All London and UK cemeteries are at risk - Southwark is the test case.    |    |    @southwarkwoods    |   Facebook Page Save Southwark Woods

Save our inner city cemeteries from grave 're-use' and deforestation

and make them valuable beautiful inner city Nature Reserves

Beautiful Camberwell Cemeteries Southwark Woods by John Edwards @aerialuas

Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries: the Save Southwark Woods campaign

Southwark Council is cutting down acres of inner city woods to mound over graves, then plans on digging up thousands of people's remains to sell off their graves as 'new' burial plots. We are fighting to save the Camberwell Cemeteries as Nature Reserves with respect for the dead and woods, green spaces and nature for the living.

Camberwell Old Cemetery

Woodvale or Forest Hill Cemetery

Forest Hill Road London SE22 0RU

Click on the photo for location map

Camberwell New Cemetery

Brenchley Gardens or Honor Oak Cemetery

Brenchley Gardens London SE23 3RD

Click on the photo for location map


What is happening now?


Southwark is waiting for retrospective permission from Southwark Diocese for felling two acres of woods in Camberwell Old Cemetery, and to fell 60 trees in the New Cemetery on One Tree Hill.


The council is also about to apply for planning permission to take another three acres of Honor Oak Park for burial plots.


Next, 10 more acres of woods are to be cleared in Camberwell Old Cemetery, for 'new' burial plots over existing graves.


But the final horrific goal - agreed by Southwark Councillors in 2012 without consulting families - is to dig up thousands of people's remains and sell off their graves as new burial plots.


800 wrtten objections triggered a Church Court hearing, but the Judge said if we defended the trees, we would get Southwark's legal costs.


We call on Southwark Council to save the Camberwell Cemeteries with respect for the dead and invaluable inner city woods, nature and green spaces for the living.

Sign the petition

Next Meeting - all welcome:

7.30pm Tuesday 21st February

We meet in the back of the Herne Tavern

2 Forest Hill Road SE22 0RR


Contact the Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries - Save Southwark Woods campaign


07731 304 966

Visit the Camberwell Cemeteries

For location of the Camberwell Cemeteries, click on the photo for a map.

For info on the cemeteries, read on...

Why do 12,000 people object?


•  Woods and trees are the lungs of London: everyone knows we need more not less


•  Digging up thousands of people's remains is horrific and disrespects the dead


•  Families have not been consulted


•  No financial transparency - residents told to issue Freedom of Information requests


•  Felling acres of woods increases air pollution, risk of flooding, destroys nature


•  These woods and graves are public property, and bring citizens enormous benefits that Southwark is destroying


•  Cheaper, fairer burial exists for all faiths at cemeteries on the edge of the city, where these cemeteries were, when they were built


Over 12,000 want the Camberwell Cemeteries made Memorial Park Nature Reserves.


Sign the 38Degrees petition here...


Save the woods, graves, history and nature of our Cemeteries

Our inner city cemeteries are full. Councils want to dig up acres of woods and graves to sell off as 'new' burial plots - no more RIP. The history and nature of all UK cemeteries are at risk. This video tells the story.

LATEST NEWS: Grave 're-use' is unacceptable - Residents fight Southwark digging up the dead

It all seemed so easy. Inner city cemeteries are full. Allow cemetery owners to dig up the dead and reuse their graves and the inner city burial shortage would be solved.  


Just one little problem, or two, or three... Residents don’t want their loved ones dug up. Nor acres of cemetery woods and trees cut down to get at people’s graves.


And perhaps as many as half of Southwark residents who seek burial can’t or don’t want to be buried over other people’s graves – out of respect or by faith. Read on...


Meanwhile, Harriet Harman the local MP says and does nothing - despite over a hundred emails highlighting problems with Southwark's burial service and plans and requests from angry residents to meet. Read on...

WOODVALE NEW GRAVES FLOODING Bones Dug up by Council in Camberwell Old Cemetery

Human remains dug up and left by Southwark Council May 2008 (photo: South London Press). 'New' graves regularly flooded, over tens of thousands of people's graves below.