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Campaigners today will take their demands to council leaders to save Southwark Woods.


Southwark Woods are the wild woods that have grown up around thousands of old graves at Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries over decades of benign neglect.


Southwark council wants to clear the woodland and fell dozens of trees to create 4,800 burial plots, a 15 year ‘solution’.


This short-term ‘solution’ will deforest these woods – and then what? Which area of inner city greenspace will they go for next?


Camberwell Old Cemetery is a Grade 1 Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. Both cemeteries are Metropolitan Open Land and part of the Green Chain Walk, with wildness hard to find in London.


Southwark is one of London’s poorest and most polluted boroughs. Last year over 200 Southwark residents died from the impacts of air pollution.


Wild nature is essential for human health and happiness. It cannot be provided by sanitised and sterile civic landscapes or modern managed cemeteries.


Residents set up Save Southwark Woods in January to protect the wild woodlands. Since then, over 4,000 people have signed the petition, online or by hand.


Save Southwark Woods representatives will today express their demands:


•To declare the two cemeteries nature reserves and manage them for woodland and amenity


•To reject the reuse of graves and respect the existing dead, their monuments and heritage, including tens of thousands of paupers’ graves


•To facilitate the creation of a 100 Acre Wood in inner London - the combined areas of Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries, One Tree Hill and Nunhead Cemetery


Save Southwark Woods campaigners believe these actions are inevitable – to preserve and protect wildness, for the greater good.


Save Southwark Woods presses for wildness

25th March 2015