Council’s deforestation of cemeteries will increase risk of flooding

News Desk (05 October, 2017)

Donnachadh McCarthy has been an environmental campaigner in Southwark since 1992 and is author of “The Prostitute State – How Britain’s Democracy Has Been Bought” and an independent environmental consultant www.3acorns.co.uk @DonnachadhMc.

11037News columnist Donnachadh McCarthy

GOOD NEWS: A few years ago, I heard Southwark council’s new flood protection officer, John Kissi, tell Camberwell Community Council, that the Wells Way Triangle, where I live, was Southwark’s second most prone area to surface flooding from extreme rainfall events, writes Donnachadh McCarthy

These have already increased due to the climate emergency. I asked him to speak to our residents’ association and this led to our setting up a flood protection group. Mr Kissi worked with us and developed proposals to build a storm-water storage tank under the school playground.

This would hold storm flood-water and stop it from flooding our homes. He raised funds from various agencies and it is now being built and scheduled to be operational by March. Our residents are very grateful to Mr Kissi for his efforts to help protect our homes.

BAD NEWS:  One way to reduce Southwark’s flooding is to ensure plenty of trees on the hills surrounding the borough and the Thames river-basin. When asked what councillors were doing about the need to urgently re-wood the naked hills surrounding the Thames basin, the answer was nothing. Even on hills that the Borough itself owns, it is felling the woods that had grown up in the Camberwell Old & New Cemeteries and the Honor Oak Nature Corridor. It is doing this to create new graves.

Cllr Peter John, the “Southwark Bulldozer”, rammed this decision through in June, despite the public consultation rejecting the tree bulldozing by an overwhelming 86%.

The clearing of these woods is causing millions more litres of water to flow down into the low-lying areas of the Borough, to the north of the chopped down woods.

HELP MAKE BAD NEWS INTO GOOD: Every 100 trees captures over a million litres of water/year. Cllr John has already chopped down 2 acres but brave campaigners are trying to save 13 more acres of nature conservation from bring bulldozed.

Sign the online Save Southwark Woods campaign petition savesouthwarkwoods.org.uk

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