The Poplar of One Tree Hill has been nominated for

Woodland Trust Tree of the Year

6th August 2018

Today, the Poplar of One Tree Hll was nominated for Woodland Trust Tree of the Year 2018 by the Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries – the Save Southwark Woods Campaign.

Below is our nomination statement:

What is the story of your tree?

The Poplar of One Tree Hill was a mature, healthy tree more than 20 metres high. It stood near the top of the eastern slope of One Tree Hill in in Camberwell New Cemetery in Honor Oak. It was not native, old, rare nor even very beautiful. But it was a tree in the way of development.

This tree and others were cut down in 2016 by Southwark Council for a cemetery roadway to access new inner-city burial plots being built on the side of One Tree Hill. Southwark Council valued 100 burial plots and the road up to them more than the trees.

It should be chosen as the Woodland Trust Tree of the Year because it represents all trees lost to development.

We are nominating this tree in the hope it will help save others.

Cities across UK like London and Sheffield are losing their trees – in parks, cemeteries and streets – for development, profit and out-of-date, old-fashioned thinking that doesn’t value nature and all its benefits like we need to.

Our Councils need to protect, preserve and extend our dwindling wild nature, woods and trees to keep people healthy in very challenging 21st Century urban environments.

If your tree is shortlisted how will you ensure your tree gets the most votes?

Our petition to save the nature and heritage of the Camberwell Cemeteries as Nature Reserves has more than 15,000 signatures online and on paper. We also have the support of many organisations including Caring for God’s Acre, Friends of the Earth, the Green Party and others. We will organise a call out to all our members and supporters to vote for the Poplar of One Tree Hill as Tree of the Year.

Save Southwark Woods campaigners have been fighting for four years to save the woods, nature and heritage of the Camberwell Cemeteries.

So far, Southwark Council has cut down two acres of woods and has a Cemetery Strategy that shows plans to clear another ten acres for burial plots. These woods are a registered Grade I Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).

“It seemed appropriate to nominate one of the thousands of trees being cut down for inner-city burial plots,” said campaigner and local resident Lewis Schaffer.

“Southwark admitted there was no need to cut down the Poplar of One Tree Hill – except that it was in the way of a new road to 100 new inner London burial plots.”

Cutting down trees for inner city burial plots is long out of date.

The Camberwell Cemeteries when they were built were out of town. Now they are in polluted inner London, in an Air Quality Management Area surrounded by busy roads, schools and traffic.

“That’s why we have nominated this tree – mature, healthy and 20 metres high – for Woodland Trust Tree of the Year. Hopefully it will draw attention to what Southwark and other Councils around the country. And that people want Councils to save our trees – not cut them down.”

The petition to make the Camberwell Cemeteries nature reserves has been signed by more than 15,000 people on paper and online – join the campaign and sign here:

Contact for more information on the Save Southwark Woods Campaign by the Friends of the Camberwell Cemeteries:

Or by phone:

Blanche Cameron – 07731 304966

Lewis Schaffer – 07886 504221

Last week’s protest outside Southwark Council – inside, the Assembly were too afraid to hear the campaign’s deputation to save the cemeteries as nature reserves – even though the application had been made well within the deadline.
Save our Woods Protest
Aerial view of the ten remaining acres of Camberwell Old Cemetery Wood, with Area Z, already felled.
Aerial view of the ten remaining acres of Camberwell Old Cemetery Wood
Area Z already felled
Area Z already felled
Area Z already felled
Area Z already felled

Southwark has destroyed other natural assets in their cemeteries – this is Area B Camberwell New Cemetery

Area B Camberwell New Cemetery

Here they have stripped almost three acres of meadow and wood in the Honor Oak Nature Corridor, just metres from Honor Oak Park station. Photos 2016 and 2017 toward One Tree Hill.

Honor Oak Nature Corridor