Save Southwark Woods

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Save Southwark Woods Campaign Places Faith in God’s Hands

09 November 2015

Today Save Southwark Woods appealed to its members to beseech the Church of England to stop monstrous plans to scar the beautiful and historic One Tree Hill.

This is where Queen Elizabeth visited and where, over 100 years ago, thousands of Southwark residents demonstrated to save the hill from development. It is one of the last wooded hillsides in central London – the home of the Honor Oak.

Now the Council is applying to the Diocese of Southwark for permission to cut down beautiful oak trees and woods on the Camberwell New Cemetery side and drive a road up One Tree Hill.

And for what? Less than a year of burial, on a slope that is not suitable for wheelchair users or the infirm.

This hillside is consecrated ground so the Council needs Church permission to proceed. It is also virgin land. The Church has the power to stop these plans and say they will take the public’s objections into account.

Jenni Hewitt, Diocese of Southwark Pastoral Administrator, wrote to SSW on 24 July:

“The Diocese of Southwark and the Church of England as a whole is much concerned about environmental matters and the DAC [Diocesan Advisory Committee] will, as it is required to do, take appropriate conservation and environmental issues into consideration when making a recommendation to the Chancellor. [We are] obliged to consider all objections received and will take any concerns raised seriously when considering any faculty application.”

Save Southwark Woods is asking people to act now and object to the Diocese by 25th November.

“The people of Southwark don’t want any part of One Tree Hill paved over by driveways and graves.” said SSW spokesperson Blanche Cameron. “We have to appeal to a higher authority to stop them. The Church say they care about heritage and the environment – we hope that is true.”

Save Southwark Woods has been fighting for over a year to make Southwark Council’s Camberwell Cemeteries Nature Reserves. Almost 10,000 people – more than 3,500 from Southwark itself – support the call.

The 100 Acre Wood March
The beautiful woods of One Tree Hill in Camberwell New Cemetery – with one of the best views of London

Sign the 38 Degrees petition here