Save Southwark Woods

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Southwark Council denies plans for possibly largest excavation of graves in British history

14 January 2016

Save Southwark Woods EXPOSES Southwark burial plans – possibly largest mass excavation and destruction of graves in UK history.

Council denies own plans to DIG UP 1000s OF DEAD in Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries in Southwark.

Southwark’s ENTIRE burial strategy is based on “RE-USE” – exhumation or mounding over of graves.

Save Southwark Woods tries to ALERT RESIDENTS to Council’s plans to dig up their families’ graves.

Council Leader Peter John OBE calls this “shameful SCAREMONGERING from an increasingly dishonest campaign”.

Save Southwark Woods wants graves PRESERVED, cemeteries declared Nature Reserves

Community group Save Southwark Woods has come under attack by Southwark Council for exposing the Council’s own plans for the largest excavation of graves in British history.

Southwark has been trying to keep residents in the dark about its massive plans to dig up or mound over every grave in Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries for resale as ‘new’ burial plots.

Councillors must have realised how unpopular this destructive and sacrilegious plan would be to people with family buried in these cemeteries.

Save Southwark Woods has been alerting residents to the impending desecration. Residents have understandably reacted in horror, both to the plan and Southwark’s attempts to cover it up.

As recently as yesterday, Cllr Darren Merrill, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Realm stated on ITV News “We are not going to be digging graves up”.

Last week, using their official Twitter feed, the Council stated “These are false claims about our plans for the cemetery. We are not excavating graves.”

And Council Leader Peter John OBE called SSW’s exposure of the plans for this mass excavation as “shameful scaremongering from an increasingly dishonest campaign”.

But the truth is that since June 2012, the council’s cemetery strategy “prioritises the re-use and reclamation of public and private graves”. That means every grave over 75 years old is at risk.

Southwark’s entire burial strategy is based on “re-use” of graves.

New recently sold burial plots on Woodvale side of Camberwell Old Cemetery, created by mounding over the graves of thousands of London’s poor – waterlogged this January

Southwark is to launch the first part of the strategy at Area Z in the Old Cemetery by mounding over 48,000 paupers’ graves.

Save Southwark Woods community group wants graves preserved and the Camberwell Cemeteries declared nature reserves

“You can call us liars and scaremongers all you want Peter John,” said spokesperson Blanche Cameron. “And you can deny your own plans that you, yourself, passed. But people are finding you out as they are learning about your gruesome, sacrilegious and destructive plans. This isn’t the first time you’ve attacked a community group and we’re sure it won’t be the last. But we’re not going away.”

“The dead who are buried here must be respected and left to rest in peace, and the beautiful woods that have grown up around them made nature reserves for the living.”

The Church has the power to agree or reject Southwark’s plans. Campaigners are asking Londoners to tell friends and relatives to object to the Diocese of Southwark: