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There are many reasons to save the Camberwell Cemeteries and make them nature reserves like Nunhead, Highgate and others.

 

These are 100 acres of nature and green space, including 10 (was 12) acres of woods, in polluted inner London.

 

Ecologists and community groups have recorded bats, reptiles, stag beetles, hedgehogs and many other species within the range of woodland, meadows, brownfield and other habitats.

 

Southwark has no Conservation Management Plans (CMPs) agreed for either cemetery, even though required by their own policies.

 

CMPs must be agreed with community groups, so would have blocked the Council's removal of the Woodland Tree Preservation Order and destruction of acres of woods and nature.

 

In April 2017, Southwark's Cemetery Strategy Stakeholder Group voted unanimously:

 

1) No further felling in Camberwell Old Cemetery

 

2) Southwark to stop development and prepare Conservation Management Plans for both cemeteries with community groups as required.

 

Meeting Chair Cllr Ian Wingfield bizarrely - and entirely undemocratically - stated the community's vote was not to be minuted.

 

We recorded the meeting, a copy of the audio recording is available on request:

savesouthwarkwoods@gmail.com

 

 

Camberwell Old Cemetery

 

Next Southwark intends to chainsaws acres more trees 'to progress projects' - burial plots  over tens of thousands of people buried beneath their roots.

 

The woods are on consecrated ground.

 

Southwark must therefore apply again to the Diocese of Southwark for permission.

 

Camberwell Old Cemetery is a Grade 1 Site of Importance for Nature Conservation on 30 acres of Metropolitan Open Land.

 

Ron Wollacott's excellent book 'Camberwell Old Cemetery - London's Lost Valhalla' describes perfectly the sublime qualities of the woodland and the graves.

 

The London Wildlife Trust used to manage Camberwell Old Cemetery woods as a nature reserve.

 

This beautiful native broadleaf woodland is better than many other London nature reserves.

 

In September 2015, Southwark Council removed the Woodland Level Tree Preservation Order which covered the whole cemetery. Now only around 5% of its trees are protected.

 

 

Camberwell New Cemetery

 

In October 2015, Southwark Council passed plans to fell up to 60 trees the part of Camberwell New Cemetery on One Tree Hill.

 

To sell less than 150 burial plots - 9 months burial - with access roads over poor or public graves to get to them.

 

In February 2017 these trees were felled, including oaks and the 60 foot healthy mature Poplar, 'in the way'.

 

In April 2017 Southwark Council passed plans to dig up 3 acres of invertebrate and nature-rich brownfield and wildflower meadow, against the results of their own community consultation.

 

Over 80% responded 'no burial on this site' and called for the area to be protected as a community nature space.

 

But Southwark ignored this and Options 2 and 3 for Woodland burial or Meadow burial - and went for the most sterile, crammed-in mown lawn burials just like all the other green space stolen from the Honor Oak Nature Corridor and Recreation Ground.

 

In July 2017, Southwark Council felled 40 trees 'in the way' of old graves' in Square 36 of the New Cemetery, claiming it was to protect old graves. But these are graves they plan to dig up and resell. The felling is preparation.

 

In September 2017 Southwark started mass clearance of grave stones and memorials of the poor or public graves on One Tree Hill.

 

One rule for the rich and another for Southwark's poor - and no regard for nature.

 

 

 

www.SaveSouthwarkWoods.org.uk    |    savesouthwarkwoods@gmail.com    |    @southwarkwoods    |    Facebook Page Save Southwark Woods

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Southwark Council's destruction of nature in the Camberwell Cemeteries

Camberwell Old Cemetery June 2017 Looking Down Lan Camberwell Old Cemetery Woods 2017 Area B Meadow June 2 Area Z Trees cut in memorials 2017_03_10 TELEGRAPH - WAR GRAVES LOST AS COURT GI

£2M of trees destroyed to make it easier to reuse graves. July 2017.

CNC August 2017

Two acres of inner London woods felled in Camberwell Old Cemetery February 2016. Above the fence line: Ten acres of Grade 1 SINC woods still planned for the chop.

Two acres of woods destroyed Camberwell Old Cemetery. February 2016.

Two acres of trees cut down over 48,000 graves including 48 WW1 and WW2 Commonwealth War Graves, to sell 'new' burial plots over their graves.

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Still much to save.  Above June 2015. Below July 2017.

Cemetree Day Camberwell Old Cemetery glade due to be felled for

Southwark Council is burying over the dead and wants to dig up thousands of graves for new burial plots - with devastating consequences for nature and heritage.

 

Acres of woods and graves have alrady been lost. But acres remain to be saved.

 

Stop Southwark bulldozing our cemeteries. Save them as nature reserves.