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Community campaigners Save Southwark Woods have today written to their constituency MP Harriet Harman to ask her to save Southwark Woods.

 

Ms Harman, Labour Deputy Party Leader and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, is also currently MP for Camberwell & Peckham, the constituency in which lie Southwark Woods at Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries.

 

Her constituency office called campaigners back in February to discuss Southwark’s plans to clear wild woodland and dig up hundreds of old graves, to make way for up to 4800 sterile new burial plots. However, since then, despite repeated requests for her support, there has been silence from Ms Harman on this important local issue.

 

The campaign has today written again to Ms Harman to ask her to pledge to save Southwark Woods if re-elected on Thursday.

 

If elected, the following candidates have pledged to save Southwark Woods and declare them nature reserves:

Amelia Womack, Green

Naomi Newstead, Conservative

Nick Wrack, Left Unity - Trade Union & Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

Rebecca Fox, National Health Action

 

And in the neighbouring constituencies of Dulwich & West Norwood and Bermondsey & Old Southwark:

James Barber, Liberal Democrat

Rashid Nix, Green

Kingsley Abrams, Left Unity - Trade Union & Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

Lucy Hall, Independent

 

The campaign to Save Southwark Woods has the support of thousands of Southwark residents via online and paper petitions. Campaigners recently nominated Southwark Woods as Assets of Community Value, under the Localism Act of 2011, to demonstrate their value to local communities.

 

“These beautiful woodlands and wild green spaces are essential to our communities, for access to wild nature, health and well-being, for reflection, play and education, air quality and summer cooling,” said Kate Slattery, local resident and SSW spokesperson.

 

Thousands are now asking Southwark council to declare all of Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries nature reserves, with respect for the dead and their memorials, and woodland for the living.

Grade 1 SINC woodland at Camberwell Old Cemetery woods

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Dear Harriet Harman: Please listen to thousands of residents and save Southwark Woods

5th May 2015

1 Cam-Old-Cemetery photo credit Grey Lipley