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Emergency Vigil SUNDAY 12 Noon for the Trees and the Dead – Sunday 31st January at Southwark Woods

29 January 2016

Emergency: Southwark Woods needs you!

Illegal works about to start!

The fencing is here!

The diggers are here!

The chainsaws are on their way!

2 acres of woods and trees are about to be cut down unlawfully without the required Church of England legal permission

This is an emergency.

Vigil for the Trees and the Dead:

Candlemas at Camberwell Old Cemetery

12.00pm – 1.00pm Sunday 31st January

Meet 11.30am Camberwell Old Cemetery Gates, Forest Hill Rd SE22 0RU

Bring candles, children, wellies, dogs on leads! Show our love and care for these beautiful historic woods and graves.


Southwark has started work bringing in hoardings and preparing to raze two acres of Grade 1 SINC woodland, hundreds of trees, to the ground and mound over 48,000 public graves and Commonwealth War Graves at Camberwell Old Cemetery – without the required legal permission from the Church of England.

On 22nd December, Southwark parks officers Rebecca Towers wrote tot he Church asking for the go ahead for works including cutting down trees under 150mm girth and opening up all ‘existing paths’. These are woodland paths with private graves underneath that they want to make heavy vehicle access roads, whose burial rights they are hoping to extinguish, but must wait until 15th March to hear from families.

The Church replied to Southwark on 11th January saying it might conceivably be possible to cut down trees under 75mm according to Church Faculty Rules (2015) – if they are not in a conservation area. These is a Grade 1 Nature Conservation area.

The Diocese said they could go ahead with Japanese Knotweed treatment, surface soil sampling, and putting up fencing (none of which require the massive hoardings currently being brought in to veil Southwark’s imminent unlawful felling from public view.)

That wasn’t enough for the Council. They didn’t reply.


Southwark instead put up notices and sent out emails claiming the Diocese had said they could cut down all trees under 150mm, plus ten significant trees.

And ‘open up’ existing pathways – ie put in heavy vehicle access roads.

Please come and show love and care for these woods and graves, history and nature together, and tell Southwark to leave them alone, in peace, beauty and harmony.