Southwark Council has just claimed in a Freedom of Information response that not one single medium-sized tree was cut down across two acres of cemetery woods.
Last year against huge public opposition Southwark cut down two acres of inner-city woods for burial plots at Camberwell Old Cemetery, claiming only 18 trees had been cut down.
Local Authorities require Church of England permission to fell trees over 3 inches or 75mm diameter on consecrated land.
So Southwark’s planning applications stated only 18 trees were to be cut down – all of which were over 150mm diameter. No trees were listed under 150mm.
This was clearly untrue.
Photographs and videos before felling show hundreds of medium-sized trees across the two acres – all now cut down.
And Tree Officer Gary Meadowcroft told Southwark’s Scrutiny Committee all the medium-sized trees were not shown on plans because there were 'too many to count'.
But Southwark Council has just claimed:
“There were no trees felled between 75mm – 150mm diameter on consecrated land” (Southwark Council Freedom of Information request response).
Plenty of trees under 75mm, 18 trees over 150mm – yet not a single tree in between? In two acres of woods?
Before the trees were felled FOCC met with Southwark Diocese’s Chancellor Petchey to show him photographs of the Grade 1 SINC woods and beg for the trees’ lives - even applying for an injunction which he rejected.
Once the trees were cut down and the evidence had been chipped, Chancellor Petchey granted Southwark Council permission.
No wonder Chancellor Petchey threatened the Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries with Southwark’s legal fees if we continued our Consistory Court fight.
Just how far are Southwark Council, the Church of England and politicians prepared to go for inner-city burial?
Southwark intends to cut down ten more acres of Grade 1 SINC woods. But worse is coming.
The UK’s billion-pound burial industry wants mass exhumation of all graves in all UK cemeteries to resell as temporary burial plots on a rolling basis.
In June 2012 Southwark Council agreed to become the test case.
Now Southwark Council is asking Parliament for permission to dig up all private graves for resale – while claiming it ‘is not committed to reuse’.
All UK cemeteries - their woods and graves - are at risk.
Southwark Council is misleading the public on a grand scale and is unfit to run a Burial Service.
The Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries, the Save Southwark Woods campaign, are fighting to save cemeteries as nature reserves with respect for the dead and woods and nature for the living.
www.SaveSouthwarkWoods.org.uk | [email protected] | @southwarkwoods | Facebook Page Save Southwark Woods
Above: Hundreds of 75mm-150mm diameter trees in 2-acre site Area Z felled by Bartlett Tree Surgeons in February 2016 for Southwark Council who are now denying their existence.
Below: The evidence chipped into mountains of dead woods.
Next: Ten more acres of beautiful inner city woods over thousands of graves to be felled for inner city burial plots.