Other London boroughs are buying burial land outside the city. Southwark’s solution is to bury over graves and soon to bury in people’s graves. To do this they have to cut down 12 acres of woods and scrape away memorials and headstones, and dig up the dead.
They call this ‘reclamation’ and ‘reuse’.
But, in fact, it is desecration of graves and nature.
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.
We want Southwark to buy burial land suitable for all and protect our valuable, beautiful inner-city woods and heritage.