Save Southwark Woods hold festival of lights protest to save trees

News Desk (17 December, 2015) Environment

Campaigners 'sang to the trees' in a very musical demonstration

7061The 'festival of light' protest by Save Southwark Woods

A “festival of lights” protest was held last weekend by campaigners protesting against Southwark Council plans to create nearly 5000 burial spaces in naturally occurring cemetery woodland.

Around 50 protestors “sang for the trees” in a musical demonstration against the plans, with many people carrying lanterns, torches and candles during a march through the threatened Camberwell New Cemetery.

The “Save Southwark Woods” group have been campaigning for months for the green patch to be preserved.

A spokesperson for the group said: “What a fantastic afternoon climbing One Tree Hill in Camberwell New Cemetery to sing to the trees, lighting lanterns as it got dark.

“Thanks to everyone who came out to show how much we need and love our trees and the birds and the bats and the owls and all the other wonderful wildlife that call these beautiful woods their home.

“These cemeteries are now full – and could be a beautiful wildlife haven.”

Cllr Darren Merrill, Southwark’s cabinet member for environment, has always maintained: “The simple fact is that if the council takes no action, burial space in Southwark will run out in 2017.

“We have engaged extensively with London Wildlife Trust and the local community, to ensure that the plans for managing the cemeteries improve biodiversity and create quality open space for local people, as well a respectful place for the deceased.”

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