Deforesting and Developing Camberwell New Cemetery / One Tree Hill



Thanks Chris absolutely


The Southwark council website doesnt like my iphone or work pc… Is there something amiss?


It doesn’t look like the website can handle more than 148 comments as that number didn’t go up after making my own submission last night. @Jerry I also found it a bit tricky - it refreshed itself when I was half way through so had to start again.

Also pretty sure I saw a sparrowhawk perched on a tree overlooking the area, yesterday around midday. From the station platform where I was standing, it was too far away to get a shot on my camera phone sadly. Would make sense as there will be lots of prey around the meadow. Also occurs to me that the presence of a top predator is a strong indication of a local ecosystem in good health. For now.


Yes Southwark don’t update all the objections until after the consultation period to discourage people from knowing how many have objected. With Area Z and D1 it was showing 300+ until after the period when the total came to over 600 on each application. We won’t get as many for Area B but it will be more than 148!

A sparrowhawk would be amazing and also entirely possible for this area - as you say, and a good sign of a well functioning ecoystem. Let us know if you have any more sightings.

I’ll post results of the consultation in the next few days.



Added my objection to the list…


I would like to know if all signatories to the objection to the cemetery being expanded have chosen cremation as their final wish. If not then where do you expect to be Buried? If you want a burial plot it has to go somewhere there were 529,655 deaths registered in 2015 simply work out how much land it takes to bury those people.


For those that accept London’s population marching towards 10M, they must make tough choices with our precious remaining open space.

Houses for the living or graves for the dead.

Personally I think the living should always take precedence over the dead.


I certainly have a wish to be cremated but am also on the look out for a greener alternative. I also wish for my remains to be scattered outside of the city area as have no intention of taking up space when I am dead. I realise this might not suit everyone but it is as well to get into the mindset that you can’t expect your remains to sit in an urban location, IMHO.


I certainly have although once I am dead I wont particularly care what happens.
To be honest I have been to a lot of funerals over the last 10 years and every one of them was a cremation. I think the rate for burial is about 25% but can’t do to much digging (excuse the obvious pun) as I am at work.
I believe Tower Hamlets and Hackney have actually stopped offering a burial service in the boroughs…


Frankly I see no reason why councils should continue to provide land for burials in consideration of other imho more important demands for land including recreational use and housing.

If for religious reasons then that religious organisation can buy land commercially. If solely for preference well then once there were private cemetaries. There could be again.


Agreed. In fact, AIUI, they have no statutory obligation to do so within the borough. This audit report makes for interesting reading and it is also striking that the only borough not to respond with sufficient info re capacity was Southwark:


Southwark and all of London needs MORE natural, wild places for health, wellbeing and kids to play - not less. Say “NO NEW BURIAL” in the Honor Oak Nature Corridor

Dear Friends,
URGENT - Please object to development in the Honor Oak Nature Corridor
Deadline Midnight April 3rd
Southwark has applied to take 3 more acres of Honor Oak Nature Corridor next to Honor Oak Park Station for 1,022 sterile burial plots.
The Old Nursery site (Area B) is Metropolitan Open Land in a Grade II SINC. It is home to hedgehogs, owls, bats, reptiles, butterflies, bees and many other rare and common species.
Southwark wants rows of sterile burial plots like on all the land they took from Honor Oak Recreation Ground in 2000 and 2010. For just a few year of burial. When will it stop?
In the 2016 consultation, 86% of residents opposed all burial on the site. Nature land is far too valuable for burial plots.

Please object here. Please also send us and Cllr Ian Wingfield a copy of your objection if you can:

Below are some reasons for objecting you might want to include, also here:

Area B should be declared a Nature Reserve as part of the Honor Oak Nature Corridor because:

  • It is Metropolitan Open Land in a Grade II SINC, home to hedgehogs, owls, bats, reptiles, butterflies, bees and many other rare and common species of wildlife
  • This is rare inner city nature land never used for burial
  • Burial will lock up the use of this nature space forever, preventing any other public use
  • 1,022 burial plots with rows of headstones on concrete plinths will destroy three acres of Honor Oak Nature Corridor, for just a few years of burial
  • In your 2016 Consultation, 86% opposed any burial on this site
  • Your application contradicts your own policy which recognises that biodiverse habitats are rare and valuable to Southwark residents and should be protected
  • This land was promised for public community benefit, then swapped to ‘protect’ the Rec Ground which Southwark now refuses to guarantee
  • The borough faces a 10% increase in population, all of whom will require access to more biodiverse green spaces not less
  • Southwark residents are experiencing the same public health crises as other boroughs, including obesity and the impacts of deadly air pollution. The Council should be protecting and increasing natural wild places for residents’ mental and physical health and wellbeing
  • Nature land is far too valuable to use for burial. A few years’ lawn burial plots followed by decades of sterility are no replacement for the beauty, tranquility and delight of nature
  • Land is for the living. Our children need more wild green space to play in and learn and experience nature - not less

Thanks again for all your support - we couldn’t do it without you.
Blanche Cameron

Chair, Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries
The Save Southwark Woods Campaign
07731 304 966


Thinking about this topic just makes me sad. When will we find out the final decision?


Southwark has just informed us it is going to Planning Committee on Thursday June 15th . That’ll be three more acres of the Honor Oak Nature Corridor taken for 1000+ burial plots and mown lawn.

Very few people have actually seen Area B recently as it’s behind hoardings. See the link and photo attached from yesterdays visit.

86% in Southwark’s own consultation said they don’t want burial on here and, of the burial options, most wanted woodland or meadow burial. They are not even offering that.


Thanks for the update, @LewisSchaffer. Is there anything we can do at this stage to help protect the land?


Back in the day we’d chain ourselves to the trees.


Yes, Chris. You should go to the Planning Committee meeting - a week Thursday at 7PM. Meet 6:30 in front of Southwark’s Tooley Street offices. You can contact everyone you know on social media, (or even pick up the phone!) and tell them that Nature Corridor land is being lost. You can ask your local politicians which side they are on on this. You can sign the petition, all information is on the website You can come to our Tuesday meetings at the Herne on Forest Hill Road in East Dulwich. There is so much you can do but anything, everything, will help.



Thanks for the useful information, Lewis.

Tonight’s hustings will be a great opportunity to do this. Are you able to make it?


Sorry. Missed it last night. Forgot until I saw your message. We are trying to put out fires all over the cemeteries - in the area by the train station, on the side of One Tree Hill, in the 10 plus acreas of woods in the Old Cemetery. Plus, now Brent has applied for permission to remove memorials. This is spreading, as we anticipated. There is the planning committee meeting next Thursday which people in SE23 should come to.


Hidden by Southwark behind hoardings is a beautiful place that is being destroyed.

Meet 6.30pm Thursday 15th June
outside Southwark Council
160 Tooley Street London SE1 2QH
7.00pm Planning Committee

Tell Southwark Council that 1,000 burial plots on the Honor Oak Nature Corridor land is a destructive waste of inner London open green space.

You can speak at the planning meeting - get in touch: