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Update: Since publication, two more Mayoral hopefuls, Christian Wolmar, for Labour, and Rashid Nix, Green, have joined the Save Southwark Woods campaign, bringing the total to ten.


This week, eight hopefuls in the race for election as the next Mayor of London have confirmed that they will save Southwark Woods if elected next year.


Green councillor Caroline Russell is the latest to join the list:


•  Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the London Assembly Liberal

  Democrat Group

•  Siân Berry, Green Party candidate for Mayor in 2008

•  Zac Goldsmith, environmentalist, journalist and  Conservative

  MP for Richmond Park

•  Tom Chance, community campaigner and head of Green

  Party office at the London Assembly

•  Caroline Russell, Green Party Councillor for Highbury East

  Ward, Islington

•  Benali Hamdache, Equalities Spokesperson for the Green  


•  Jon Bartley, founder of Christian think tank Ekklesia and

  National Work & Pensions spokesperson for the Green Party

•  Rosalind Readhead, Independent candidate, campaigning to

  ban private cars in London


Potential candidates join a long list of supporters to declare Southwark Woods Nature Reserves, including Tony Juniper, Peggy Seeger, Banca Jagger, Susie Orbach, Jenny Éclair and many others:


First of the hopefuls to sign up were Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Assembly Group, and environmentalist, journalist and Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith:


“Given London’s growing population, I understand the need to provide more grave-spaces in London; it is one of the many demands for land that we have to juggle with,” said Zac. “But it would be a terrible mistake to lose what has become a much loved local nature reserve in this old cemetery and I strongly urge Southwark Council to think again.”


This week Southwark varied the Tree preservation Orders to allow them to cut down whatever trees they liked. The Woodland Trust is currently mapping the ancient and veteran trees to try and ensure that these at least are safe.

Current Mayor Boris Johnson’s Vision2020 has a target of 25% London tree cover by 2020. This policy aims to increase health and well-being and counter the impacts of climate change, especially air pollution.


SSW is still waiting to hear from potential Labour Party candidates that they support Southwark Woods too. At least Christian Wolmar, the journalist and historian, has asked for more information.


This week, Tessa Jowell asked the public for 10 things for kids to do by the time they’re 10. When SSW campaigner Lewis Schaffer suggested, 'Run wild in a wild wood in London, such as @SouthwarkWoods?’ Tessa replied enthusiastically, ‘Thanks Lewis, great idea’.


But requests for her to help save those very same wild woods from Southwark’s chainsaws have had no response.


Perhaps Diane Abbott, Sadiq Khan, David Lammy or Gareth Thomas will show more genuine care for the value of these high quality areas of wild nature to London?


Eight of the London Mayor hopefuls pledge to save Southwark Woods

28th July 2015

ZAC GOLDSMITH Caroline Pidgeon AM Rosalind Readhead caroline russell Jonathan-Bartley-YouTube-Channel-4-News1 tom_chance_mayor_assembly SIAN BERRY benali hamdache