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Council's Plans for Camberwell Cemetery Woodland
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henryb2


Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #1
02-03-2015 02:00 PM

The 100 Acre Wood Walk
A Teddy Bears’ Moveable Feast

Sunday 8th March
11AM - 1PM
Meet 10.30AM
Camberwell Old Cemetery Gates
Forest Hill Road SE22 0SQ

Walk to Save Southwark Woods!
The council want to put 6,000 burial plots in our magical Southwark Woods at Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries.
Residents have a better idea - a100 Acre Wood for the well-being of the local community and South London.
Bring balloons, cake, banners, flags, instruments, dogs on leashes, wellies...
and your teddy bears!

Route
Through Camberwell Old Cemetery woods
Up and over One Tree Hill
Through Camberwell New Cemetery
Over to Nunhead Cemetery
Finish at the Ivy House for 1PM

Walk to save the magical nature of our 100 Acre Wood!

http://www.savesouthwarkwoods.org.uk/walk

This post was last modified: 02-03-2015 02:05 PM by henryb2.

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henryb2


Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #2
10-03-2015 03:54 PM

Thanks to everyone who came - around 300. It made the front page of South London Press.

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152047


Posts: 129
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #3
31-03-2015 01:58 PM

I went on a long walk over the weekend and took in the sites of Camberwell Old Cemetery and Camberwell New Cemetery.

For those that get confused the Old Cemetery is the one bordered by Underhill Road, Wood Vale and Forest Hill Road. The New Cemetery is next to Honor Oak Park train station and between the railway line and Brenchley Gardens.

The last time I was in the Old Cemetery was a few years ago and I saw a Green Woodpecker having a go at an ant hill on an old grave. Sadly the wreckers have been in since then and the place looks very different. Gone is the look of a slightly overgrown garden with lots of mature trees and shrubs. Now we have a new tarmac path that looks like a road, grass so closely mown it would give an ant a haircut and lots of the trees and shrubs that were there cleared away.

I only saw a couple of people visiting a grave, most of those there were walkers or families with children or dogs. What was particularly strange was the vast increase in plastic flowers since my last visit. Why do they do people do that? Is it because they only visit once a year and want them to last? They really are quite horrid and combined with the diverse range of grave stones combine to make the place look quite grotesque.

There is one part of the cemetery which is still much as it was. The northern section which runs to the back of the houses on Ryedale and part of Underhill. This is pretty much unchanged from before and presumably one of the areas the campaign is trying to save. Portable metal fences have been put up in preparation for Southwark's logging camp.

Visually this section is also pretty depressing with the graves overgrown but at least you can see that it must be where a lot of our local wildlife lives. Indeed it looks very much like parts of Nunhead Cemetery. If it was down to me I would remove the gravestones and leave the trees and wildlife. I saw only one grave in this section that had evidence of a visit by relative so clearly no-one cares about who is buried there.

Our circular walk ends at the entrance on Forest Hill Road where we see four or five shining examples of how Southwark Council continues to waste money. Either side of the entrance they have planted 15ft Italian Cypresses. Expensive items, I would guess about £300 each. But why both to stake them properly when you have money to burn? So they are all lopsided and falling over. Why choose these non-native trees in the first place? Why not a five foot oak or walnut at a fraction of the price. Cuts to local government? They can't come quickly enough if they are so wasteful with the money they do have.

So on to Camberwell New Cemetery. S******* over by Southwark ten years ago when they took the nursery site for burials they have come back to finish the job. Inevitably the new section of the cemetery is filling up rapidly which only goes to prove the futility of trying to provide burial space in an urban environment. A lesson learnt by the Victorians over 150 years ago when they set up places like Brookwood Cemetery. A lesson apparently lost on those running Southwark.

I wasn't quite sure which bits of the New Cemetery Southwark wants to trash but I assume that is the forested edge near to the One Tree Hill nature reserve. At this rate our urban nature reserves will end up as small islands of loneliness separated by dead urban space.

All in all my walk made be quite angry. I would try and talk to my local councillors about my concerns but given they, like the people running Southwark and taking these ridiculous decisions, are all from the Labour party what is the point?

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henryb2


Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #4
22-04-2015 08:44 AM

Thanks for the post 152047 . Yes it has made a lots of local people angry. Please sign the petition if you haven't already. On the SSW website are the details off the relevant officers and councillors to write to if you oppose the plans. The more people who write - the more likely these plans will be changed.

I and a couple of other members of the campaign have been invited to a stake holders meeting about the plans.

I will rise the issue of the Italian Cypresses and ask them to agree to no more planting of none native trees in the cemetery.

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Decker


Posts: 116
Joined: Nov 2014
Post: #5
22-04-2015 09:52 AM

It's 2015....why would anyone think we need burial plots in Central London?

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cerinthe


Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2013
Post: #6
19-06-2015 06:54 PM

Southwark Council are proposing to clear an area woodland in Camberwell Old Cemetery (off Wood Vale, near the Horniman Museum), which will involve destroying many very old and majestic trees.

Please join the protest march against this, on Sunday 21 June.
Meet at Camberwell Old Cemetery at 12pm, march will be until 1pm, then a picnic on One Tree Hill.

For more information: http://savesouthwarkwoods.org.uk/southwa...4589650280

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henryb2


Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #7
23-06-2015 02:13 PM

They are also planning to clear an area of woodland on One Tree Hill in Camberwell New Cemetery along the boundary with the One Tree Hill Nature Reserve.

I found 3 20/25 year old Sessile Oaks up in the bit they are going to clear. If you don't know Sessile Oak are the other UK native species of oak and support more wildlife than any other native trees.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
11-02-2016 02:31 PM

Both Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries have areas of woodland which Southwark council are planning to reuse as yet more grave space. They have already started on Camberwell Old Cemetery and will proceed to One Tree Hill next (these areas both have SE23 postcodes bordering them as does St Augustine's). These areas are grade 1 SINC woodland which provide local flood protection, harbour a diverse range of wildlife species, absorb carbon and pollutants and act as local lungs. Southwark have options to use out of borough space for burial but are using this more expensive option. It is not too late to try and stop this - please write to your MP and consider signing the petition. More details here:
http://www.savesouthwarkwoods.org.uk/home/4588391435

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #9
11-02-2016 06:45 PM

If a relative of mine died and chose to be buried rather than cremated, I wouldn't want to have to traipse out to Pratt's Bottom or wherever to tend their grave.

This post was last modified: 11-02-2016 06:45 PM by robin orton.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #10
11-02-2016 06:53 PM

An inconvenience to a minority vs a great benefit to many. There is no obligation to provide burial in-borough, some other boroughs no longer do so. In fact, Southwark want to sell this burial space to people London-wide who will presumably have to "traipse" here.

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samuelsen


Posts: 194
Joined: Feb 2016
Post: #11
11-02-2016 09:55 PM

There has been extensive discussion about this issue on another local forum (EDF) and I'd suggest reading this to gain a fuller picture than is being expressed by savesouthwarkwoods.

Southwark Woods do not nor have they ever existed, they are a figment of imagination, and if ssw had their way they would prefer the cemeteries to become overgrown wildernesses. This would result in them eventually being closed and unusable.

Southwark Council are putting right their neglect and mis management of part of Camberwell Old Cemetery to create new burial space.

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152047


Posts: 129
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #12
11-02-2016 10:42 PM

I am not sure I agree with you Samuelsen

The Labour councillors who run Southwark are pushing through this plan for their own narrow political interests and the fact that the site is on the edge of the borough means they can ignore half of the local residents affected.

There is no future for urban burial and this is just cynical shorterism of the worst kind.

As for your comments about overgrown wilderness I think you are missing the point. Your views on the history of the woods are equally obtuse. If we all shared your views then the Thames would still be one of the most polluted rivers in the world.

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BillieJameson


Posts: 48
Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #13
12-02-2016 10:08 AM

Why make the point that Southwark is run by Labour Councillors? This has been an issue for many years and was equally forcefully pursued whilst under Lib Dem control.

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152047


Posts: 129
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #14
12-02-2016 02:14 PM

Southwark is run by Labour.

The burial policy is a local Labour policy.

The reason why is it is Labour policy is because 1) they consider poorer members of the community would be particularly disadvantaged if there was no local burial option and 2) there is still a preference for burial in some ethnic communities.

Those two groups are considered to be natural Labour supporters.

There is however no legal obligation on Southwark to provide land for burial.

In other words they are pursuing a policy which they have no obligation to pursue because it favours their core voters not because it benefits all members of the community.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
12-02-2016 02:46 PM

All true. It is also interesting to note that, according to the council's own figures, only 22% would opt for a burial.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #16
16-02-2016 08:53 PM

Sorry, cant bear these unintelligible comments about Labour policy and benefitting the few. They are so uninformed and frankly callous. How dare the Labour Party councillors propose to bury people. Clearly selfish and for their own ends. What utter c**p.

I wont make equally uninformed comments about whether people have ever experienced loss but it does seem that they write from an abstract position on death rather than contemplate the experience of those who grieve loved ones.

In just over a week a dear friend of over 20 years will be buried in one of these cemetaries. He lived locally and died in his early 50s leaving a young son. Much too young and a terrible tragedy. Im pleased that his son will be able to visit his fathers grave before going to play football with his friends or for a walk with his mother. It makes it all the more matter of fact somehow, something that that little boy will need for many years to come.

There are children buried in these cemetaries, and as a regular visitor Ive seen parents come to sit at their childs graveside. Some cry, some talk to their children.

Hopefully Im far off having a need for burial myself but for my children Im glad that they have walked through cemetaries asking questions and have been able to make sense of life and death and the bits inbetween. Lets not remove a valuable life learning experience from our children by turfing out our deceased beyond the M25.

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BillieJameson


Posts: 48
Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #17
16-02-2016 08:58 PM

Beautifully put Roz.

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152047


Posts: 129
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #18
16-02-2016 09:53 PM

Dear Roz

You are welcome to your views and it has already been mentioned that 22% are in favour of burial. One in five is a reasonable enough number of supporters, you only need to ask Steve Bullock - I seem to remember it was enough to get him elected as Mayor of our fair borough!

However, if you think about it I am not sure it is too credible to suggest:

1) only people who have experienced loss can have a legitimate opinion on this subject; and

2) if someone disagrees with you that must mean that they have never experienced loss.

Also can you really compare degrees of loss? If you lose a parent at the age of 15 is that less tragic than losing a child at the age of 5 or losing a parent who was your best friend for 30 years?

There are people of all ages buried in the cemeteries.

Similarly is a person's opinion more valid because they have lived somewhere for twenty years compared to someone who has only lived in a place for two years? What about all those people who have moved here from Europe? Are you suggesting they shouldn't have a say?

I am not asking you to agree with me but this debate should really be about the greatest good for the greatest number and not about individual cases.

Finally, in the interest of balance I should point out that the (conservative run) Westminster homes for votes scandal and the (conservative run) Bromley attempt to put a cinema on the Crystal Palace site were equally appalling abuses of local government.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
16-02-2016 09:56 PM

Just also that a major reason for wanting burial and the physical presence of a grave and headstone is to enable loved ones, especially children who lose parents, to grieve properly. Young children wont get cremation and ashes being spread around. Ive known people who otherwise wanted cremation to change their minds once they had children.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #20
16-02-2016 10:00 PM

I dont understand how death and burials suddenly became a political preference. Im lost on that one.

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