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Send an email to save a wood


Dear Friends,


Now is the time to act.


Please send the email on the right or draft your own, to the Diocese of Southwark and ask them to delay making a decision on this application until ALL relevant information is available.


We have just learned Southwark quietly applied over two weeks ago to the Church of England for permission to destroy very old beautiful woods and meadows, graves and memorials in Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries, known as Southwark Woods.


Chainsaws, bulldozers, diggers and trucks will be arriving to destroy the first 2 and a half acres of beautiful woods and heritage in as little as SIX WEEKS unless we act now.


Thank you for taking this urgent action now,


Save Southwark Woods

URGENT: Write to the Church

Ask them to delay their decision until all relevant information supplied

17th July 2015

Sample letter or write your own




FAO: Administrator to the Pastoral Department, Diocese of Southwark

Trinity House, 4 Chapel Court, London SE1 1HW

tel 020 7939 9457 / fax 020 7939 9469


Dear Jenni Hewitt,


Re: Southwark council faculty application via Harrison Design for development at Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries


I have just heard that Southwark council has applied to the Diocesan Advisory Committee for faculty permission to develop woodland, meadows, graves and memorials at Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries, known locally as Southwark Woods.


I would be grateful if you would forward this email to the DAC and the Tree Advisor, to delay the decision on this application, in the light of urgent information.


Local community group Save Southwark Woods is currently investigating whether these woods are in fact Ancient Woodland, due to the age of the oaks and the seed bank in the soil, which helps determine Ancient Woodland classification.


If they are, they would be one of the closest Ancient Woodlands to the centre of London, setting them in a different historical, environmental and legislation context altogether.


It appears Southwark may also have failed to mention that the Old Cemetery is a Grade 1 Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, due to the high quality of its woodland, with trees of at least 300 years old, maybe more, and woodland protected species such as pipistrelle and soprano bats, owls, stag beetles and so on. There are large oak trees of diameters greater than a metre, and at least one of 1.6 metres.


The New Cemetery area is virgin native woodland immediately adjacent to the remnant of the Great North Wood, One Tree Hill Nature Reserve, with at least three 25 feet tall oaks not marked on Southwark's plans.


Both cemeteries are covered by Southwark's Woodland Management Plan and Woodland Level Tree Preservation Orders.


I am very concerned indeed that the council may have presented the faculty application as a 'standard' landscaping adjustment.


I respectfully request the Diocese delay any decision on the application until the investigation has been completed into whether these woods are Ancient Woodland, including arboriculturalist assessments and soil tests.


Southwark is one of the poorest and most polluted boroughs in London. There are other burial options which are healthier, fairer and better value, and provide burial for all faiths, not just a few.


People need the graves for their history and these old and beautiful woods for their physical and spiritual value, for our children and their health, for the air, water, wildlife and climate.


Thank you for your consideration in this urgent matter.


(Your name and address)


People to copy in:


Council Leader


Harriet Harman, Local MP for Peckham and Camberwell (Labour)


And copy us in too!

One of the Southwark Oaks


Ken Scarlett arboriculturalit from Adverant measuring diameters for age    |    |    @southwarkwoods    |    Facebook Page Save Southwark Woods


Standing room only at the Public Meeting in February

Hundreds march for 100 acre nature reserve

Cam-Cemetery-Grey Lipley 6 SAVE SOUTHWARK WOODS LOGO SSL24040 5 Public Meeting 11 Feb photo credit SSW SSL22266 SSL24062

Part of Southwark Woods - too good to lose