SOUTHWARK'S CEMETERY SCANDAL
Southwark is clearing the woods, graves and memorials of Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries to sell 'new' burial plots over the dead - including the war dead. Next thousands of people's remains are to be dug to resell their graves as 'new' burial plots - the wholesale destrction of the cemeteries.
A new law allows London cemetery owners to dig up the dead and resell their graves. But it is not an automatic right - families must be consulted. Southwark did not consult families nor the Commonwealth War Graves Commission before starting the largest grave 'reuse and reclamation' development in British history - a UK test case. Your cemetery may be next.
The Save Southwark Woods campaign began in September 2014 and became the Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries in 2016. We work closely with the Camberwell Cemeteries Working Group, the Friends of Honor Oak and other local groups.
We are fighting to save the Camberwell Cemeteries as inner-city nature reserves with respect for the dead and woods and nature for the living.
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.
Area Z before the devastation - 2016.
Area Z - stripped of vegetation, with the remaining 9 acres. Doomed. Photo by John Edwards, 2017.
Diggers and tree cutters work over the graves of WW1 heroes.
Google map from October 2017. Awaiting the heavy machinery to transform the site into 700 burial plots.
Wood chip pile, with view of the Shard in background.
Memorials about to be removed, to be crushed or dumped,
Original plans shown to the public showed only six Commonwealth War Graves Commission WW1 graves.
The truth is riginal plans showing 46 Commonwealth War Graves Commission WW1 graves.