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Ask your prospective election candidates to pledge their support for woods and trees, urges the Woodland Trust:


“Flood defenders. Air purifiers. Health improvers. Home makers. Woods and trees should be at the heart of the UK policy agenda.”


Southwark’s Camberwell Old and New inner city cemeteries are almost full.


Around 400 people are currently buried each year, 220 or so new burial plots.


So the council is preparing to fell dozens of mature trees and clear woodland in the cemeteries to make way for 4,800 new burial plots.


Southwark Woods have grown up around thousands of old graves over many decades of benign council neglect, to create truly wild Grade 1 woodland.


However, Southwark says it needs the burial plots created by this development, to provide for the next 15 years.

Save Southwark Woods has asked Harriet Harman MP and all local candidates for the Camberwell & Peckham seat to support residents’ calls to declare the cemeteries nature reserves and to protect and expand these valuable community assets for the future.


“Like the Woodland Trust, we believe that MPs have a responsibility to act as stewards of trees and woods,” says campaign spokesperson Blanche Cameron.


"Research shows we are happier and healthier with access to woods and wilder nature. Woods and trees reduce air pollution, over-heating and the risk of flooding in our cities. Woodland is home to wildlife, connecting us to our own wild nature.”


However, as the Trust points out, the UK is one of the least-wooded countries in Europe, and few people have wooded areas near their homes.


"Our woodland heritage is not fully protected through the planning system and more irreplaceable woods and trees come under threat every day.”


The Trust has information to support people who want to discuss their commitment with candidates:


The Woodland Trust says: “Ask your candidates about their plans for the nation’s woodland, and make sure they understand trees and woods matter to you.”


Save Southwark Woods campaigners agree.


Protecting woodlands is an election issue

24th March 2015