02 June 2012

Good news for fans of Honor Oak Recreation Ground (’the Rec’) is that Southwark

Council's cemeteries’ strategy makes burying people in the Honor Oak Rec the least

preferred option available to them.

Southwark recently consulted over options for burials in the borough. Despite

increases in the size of Camberwell New Cemetery, the borough is running short of new

burial spaces and they needed to look at options for new capacity.

The report was presented to Southwark’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 8 May, and

includes a number of short and medium term options that prevent the use of the Rec.

This will include the use of the old Honor Oak Nursery site to the south of the Rec,

some additional grave in the west of Camberwell New Cemetery, and using ground that

had been used for common graves, with additional top soil to enable new graves to be

placed here.

In the medium term Southwark plans to reuse some graves that are older than 75-95

years and beyond 2045 more graves would be able to be used in this way. With luck and

barring major health disasters in the next 30 years, this will allow the Rec to be

used, as it is today, as a playground and well used football pitches, for the next 30


But although this is good news for users of this park, we are keen to see more

permanent protection for this park so that we don't face the same crisis in 30 years

time, or sooner. It is important that all local councils have sensible long term plans

for burials but it is equally important that we don't lose useful public sports

grounds to graves.

We have seen this playing field threatened a number of times and need to put this

matter to rest. We will be looking at ways to ensure this space is kept for long term

public use for sports and play.

If you would like to find out more about Honor Oak Rec and the continuing campaign to

save it visit honoroakparkrecreationground.blogspot.com/

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