These newsletters were edited by Dr Martin Heath as superviser of the Belair Project, and include attributed contributions by others. Newsletters 1 to 80 were originally published in PDF format, but have been reconfigured here as blog posts for ease of browsing and viewing. (An archive of the original PDFs is available here.)
Many thanks to everyone who has supported our cause.
You can congratulate yourselves on a job well done.
The Friends began by successfully opposing attempts to sell the Park or to smother it with unsuitable developments.
Since 2010, however, we have been working in constructive partnership with the London Borough of Southwark, which has supported us in creating and maintaining hedgerows, islands in the lake, a Wildlife Walk and wetland area. When a visitor enters Belair Park today, they can enjoy an environment that owes much to the work of the Friends.
113 people passing the devastated Orchard beside Camberwell Green were asked for their opinions of the felling by one of the campaigners who had fought in vain to save this doomed green space.
Donnachadh McCarthy FRSA: “could not stay and watch the beauty created by nature/community over last 20 years destroyed in hours . . .”
THE CULMINATING ACT IN A SAGA OF INCOMPETENCE
Most of our readers will be sad to learn that on the morning of October 6, 2013, Southwark hacked down the Community Orchard beside Camberwell Green.
Urgent – action required by October 9, 2013
The following has been received from the Campaign to Protect Rural England:
Stop plans to release more countryside for new development. The Government wants to introduce new planning guidance* that will put pressure on local councils to release more countryside and Green Belt for development. The Government are hoping that trying to increase housing
in this way will lower the cost of housing but all our evidence shows this won’t happen.
Held on September 21, 2013, the day before this year’s autumn equinox, the Community Fair was an opportunity for those working for community projects to network. The grey overcast and the fact that some of the leaves on the trees were already turning colour gave a true feel of an approaching autumn.
THE NEW LIBRARY TO BE BUILT ON THE COMMUNITY ORCHARD COULD BE TOO SMALL.
Civic campaigner Abby Taubin has written to us that the proposed 700 square metre library which Southwark insists can only be built on the Community Orchard site next to Camberwell Green, could be far too small for today’s and future needs.