The future of our cemeteries

Camberwell Old - Area Z burial area

Current status

Camberwell Old - Area Z burial area
Camberwell Old - Area Z burial area

Over the past few years we've overseen work that has turned this hazardous, fenced off area in Camberwell Old Cemetery into a new space that is rich with wildlife and nature. We look forward to returning this remarkable new landscape to the local community, as well as those who will come to remember old friends, partners and relatives.

In addition to this, the project has caught the eye of the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI). They've recognised the work with an award in the Regeneration Scheme category for 2021.

BALI acknowledges the careful selection of plant species designed to enhance nature conservation, transforming the area into a valuable landscape for local people and other visitors to the cemetery.

This award is fitting recognition of the excellent design and construction work undertaken to deliver the project. We offer thanks and congratulations to Blakedown Landscapes who won the award and also to Harrison Design Development who designed this sensitive, historic landscape and managed delivery of the project.

We'd also like to thank everyone locally who took an interest in this project. Following completion of some minor landscape tasks and establishment of the area, it will open to the public in Spring 2022.

What we've achieved

  • created over 600 burial spaces
  • remodelled the land and reinstated pathways to prepare the area for new burials
  • planted 66 new trees and many ground-cover plants to enhance biodiversity within the cemetery
  • the flowering lawns have been sown and are now establishing well
  • built habitat features (log piles and hibernaculum) as homes for reptiles, mammals and insects
  • removed all unsuitable material that was contaminated by unauthorised waste disposal
  • improved the appearance of the boundary along Underhill Road by installing new railings
  • from Spring 2022 there will be improved pedestrian access from Underhill Road as a new stepped entrance has been created with striking new gates
    • unfortunately, the entrance will not be accessible for everyone - due to the steepness of the area, a suitable ramp could not be created
    • the main entrance from Forest Hill Road is fully accessible to all
Underhill Road gate entrance

When will the area be open?

  • we need to allow time for the remodelled land to settle and for the meadow lawns to establish
  • we aim to open the burial area and new gate from Underhill Road during Spring 2022, subject to the meadows establishing well


  • planning permission was granted in October 2015; planning conditions have since been approved
  • faculty permission has been received from the Diocese of Southwark
  • we've completed the legal process to extinguish rights of interment for Private graves and removal of memorials where necessary; further information can be found on the removal of public memorials - Area Z development works page

We aim to complete Phase 3 in 2021. The area will be open to the public in Summer 2022. You can find out more by viewing our cemetery FAQ page.

Page last updated: 05 January 2022

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