Showing posts with label friends of honor oak park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friends of honor oak park. Show all posts

14 February 2011

Save Honor Oak Recreation Park

Honor Oak Recreation Ground is under threat again as Southwark Council faces pressure to provide more burial provision. Southwark council runs several current and closed cemeteries including Nunhead Cemetery, Camberwell Old Cemetery and Camberwell New Cemetery, but according to Southwark councillor James Barber, there was only a year's supply of spaces for burials last September. As a result, Southwark's officers have put forward two options to provide more burial spaces.

The first option is to reuse common graves once they have obtained Home Office approval – this involves adding two foot above the current plots (which are only 4 foot deep). Their initial thoughts are to use concrete blocks to add the required extra height, but this would be contrary to Southwark’s climate change strategy as concrete manufacture is carbon intensive. This option would give another 10-12 years of burial plots.

The second option is to use an adjacent sports playing field (Honor Oak Recreation Ground) giving another 25 years of burial plots. This is what they claimed when they took part of the Rec in 2000.

Friends of Honor Oak Park Recreation Ground are asking a series of questions of local councillors and have started a petition at, but time is short as Southwark are due to make a decision this month. Sign up now to voice your concern.

Lack of burial space is not a new problem for Southwark. In the 1850's, the parish of Camberwell was having difficulty finding space for burials in its churchyards. The Camberwell Burial Board was established to find a solution to the problem, which they did - in 1855. The board bought 30 acres of meadow land and established it as the Burial Ground of St Giles, Camberwell. Camberwell New Cemetery was founded in 1901 in order to provide more space and was opened in 1927. By 1984, 300,000 burials had been carried out at the cemetery. The majority of burials now take place in the New Cemetery.

When you buy a grave in one of Southwark's cemeteries, you buy the 'exclusive right of burial' for that particular grave and this lasts for a period of 50 years. At the moment, anybody can buy a plot, although the fee is greater for those who are not or were not residents of the borough. Some religions prohibit the reuse of graves, but the Diocese of Southwark advises that while the reuse of graves within a period of less than 75 years is likely to cause distress and offence to the living, as well as appearing disrespectful to the dead, the reuse of graves as soon as 75 years have elapsed after the most recent burial should be encouraged, not least so that those presently arranging a burial are informed of what is likely to happen in the future. Rather than planning for re-use on a grave-by-grave basis, there is merit in seeking to bring larger areas into re-use as part of a coherent plan.

  • Contact, email or write to your local Lewisham or Southwark councillors. Tell them how you feel about the loss of open space, how you use the recreation ground and what it means to you.
  • Sign the petition at

On a side note, Southwark has spent a lot of time and money cleaning up the illegal dumping of building materials near Honor Oak Park station. This cleanup has taken over 18 months and will finally be resolved with the planting of new trees and bushes. This area is only expected to accommodate one year of burials.

09 March 2010

Friends of One Tree Hill - Annual Meeting and local history talk

One Tree Hill lies at the northern end of a prominent ridge of hills that has marked the boundary between kingdoms, counties, manors and ancient parishes for many centuries and has been an open space since time immemorial. In 1896 a golf club attempted to enclose the hill.

Local people campaigned successfully and on 7th August 1905 One Tree Hill was “opened to the public, and dedicated to their use, forever”.

The talk will cover the history of the hill, real and fictional, and describe the successful campaign to save it. For further details, contact Sandy.

18 June 2009

Friends of Honor Oak Park

There are some very energetic, creative, dedicated people here in SE23 working hard to make our community an even better place to live. Take Fiona Hull. She’s one of the founders of the Honor Oak Park Action Group (HOPAG) which has made a big difference to the high street there already. HOPAG has now changed its name to the Friends of Honor Oak Park. Fiona would love to inspire some of you to set up similar schemes around SE23 so she passes on these tips.

Why we set up the group
After walking past this kind of mess for the umpteenth time, I thought to myself enough is enough.
I’m lucky that I have a close friend who lives in Honor Oak Park whom I could moan to about the state of our neighbourhood. Eventually, we decided to stop moaning and do something about it. We gave ourselves a name - Honor Oak Park Action Group - and we started the slow, painstaking process of finding out whom to talk to about the things we wanted to change. Recently, we changed our name to Friends of Honor Oak Park. This way we will be able to work more closely with Southwark and Lewisham Councils and residents on larger projects.

Rule 1: Getting started
We contacted our station manager, sent him photos of the mess outside the station and asked him to come down and pay us a visit. Seeing that we were passionate and determined, he agreed to give us £250 to plant up a drought-tolerant garden in front of the station. He arranged for the railings to be painted a nice, pale green and removed all the fly tipping and rubbish.

Rule 2: Get to know your local councillors and Council
We held a planting a planting day at the station, invited local councillors and raised money and awareness of what our group was trying to achieve.

Rule 3: Get to know your members
We set up a blog where we could let our members know what was going on and ask them what they thought. We told them about the cleverly designed Moo Moo recycling bin. We decided we wanted one because, apart from its funky design, it increases recycling rates by 66%. We put a paypal donation button on the blog and had raised £200 in less than two weeks. We were amazed and excited. Lewisham council agreed to contribute the rest so that we could have our own Moo Moo bin.

Rule 4: Create partnerships with people who are in a position to help you
We invited Joan Ruddock MP to come down and have a look first hand at what we were trying to achieve, particularly the fly tipping issues and overflowing refuse bins in Honor Oak Park. We spoke to the Head of Environment who encouraged our non municipal approach and we now have a lovely, clean high street.
We spoke to a Director at O2 as we have an O2 phone mast painted navy blue and a cabin outside Honor Oak Park station painted dark green. We asked him to come down and see our Moo Moo bin and how we wanted the O2 mast and cabin painted black. Not only did he do this, but he put us in touch with his community funding scheme at O2. Encouraged, we applied for funding and were recently awarded £750.

Rule 5: Get informed and involved and don’t take no for an answer
Find out what’s going on at all levels, locally and nationally. There’s so much going on now at a grass roots level and we firmly believe that this is the way things are going to change. This is the way to keep inspired and motivated because you have to have a huge amount of energy and determination to get things done as some projects are not easy to get off the ground.