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Southwark Council has never consulted families on its Grave 'Reuse and Reclamation' Burial Strategy


Most graves in Camberwell Old or New Cemetery in East Dulwich and Honor Oak are at risk - and families are furious.


Southwark never consulted families before adopting its Grave 'Reuse and Reclamation' Burial Strategy in June 2012 which they have been delivering ever since.


This includes no consultation of families with relatives buried in First and Second World War Commonwealth War Graves - who were also not informed of recent developments for 'new' burial areas over CWGC war graves.


Southwark has already scraped away hundreds of memorials and is clearing acres of woods to sell burial over tens of thousands of existing graves. This is to buy time while asking Parliament's permission to dig up the dead.


A 2007 law allowed London cemetery owners to ask the public’s permission to dig up the dead, so-called ‘re-use’.  


But it is not an automatic right.


Councils must consult families when preparing Burial Strategies like Southwark's, based on 'reuse and reclamation' - digging up and mounding over graves.


But Southwark Council has never asked families.


Cllr Ian Wingfield, responsible for delivering the grave reuse and reclamation burial strategy, recently put off consulting families for another two years while Southwark get all their ducks in a row. They still have to get Parliamentary permission and they know just how much relatives detest Southwark’s horrific and greedy plans.


Consulting families now would give them time to object, which develop Southwark Council does not want.


So instead Cllr Wingfield is denying that Southwark is committed to reuse.


Southwark is creating a 'worst practice' test case for London.


But all UK cemeteries are at risk, as the burial industry is lobbying hard for all graves to be dug up and resold.


We need a national conversation about death, burial and  memorialisation and the best use of inner city green spaces, woods, nature and history.


Betrayal of the families and destruction of their history, heritage and memorials is yet another reason why Southwark is unfit to run a burial service.


FOCC is fighting to save the Camberwell Cemeteries as nature reserves with respect for the dead and their memorials, and woods and nature for the living.


Do you have family or friends buried in Camberwell Old or New Cemeteries? Do you know their graves may be at risk?


In 2016, we conducted an informal online suvey of families with relatives buried in Southwark's cemeteries - 91% said they were totally against digging up the dead - so-called 'reuse' of graves.


Southwark has never consulted families because they know what they would say. Don't do it.


Contact us if you have relatives or friends buried here:



Loved Ones' Grave Robbery Protest

Sunday 25th June

Meet 2pm Camberwell New Cemetery Gates

Brenchley Gardens SE23 3RD


Families and friends with loved ones buried in Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries will gather on Sunday 25th June to meet each other, share information and protest Southwark’s plans to mound over or dig up the graves of their loved ones.


We will walk through the cemeteries to visit loved ones' graves.


Southwark Council’s Grave Robber Leader Peter John decided long ago in 2012 to dig up the dead to sell off ‘new’ burial plots - without any specific consultation of families - let alone asking their permission.


Join us 2pm on Sunday 25th June, Camberwell New Cemetery Gates.