The Camberwell Society

Society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell

This is the holder page for Environment

Cleanup Camberwell


Does your corner of Camberwell need a bit of a clean-up? Are you fed up with rubbish in your road, paper in the park, or glass bottles in the long grass? If you can bring the people, we can provide the litter pickers.

This is a new initiative from the Camberwell Trees and Green Spaces Group (co-sponsored by the SE5 Forum for Camberwell and the Camberwell Society).

We loan out equipment for free to groups and individuals across SE5. You can borrow litter pickers (15+ available), black bags, gloves and even high-vis vests.

Collection and drop-off are easy: we’ll meet you at an agreed time at the Camberwell Leisure Centre.

Interested? Please contact us at: – we’d love to hear from you.

Ruskin Tree Walk

A special event is being held on March 6th.

Discover John Ruskin, the Victorian influencer who was as famous in his day as David Attenborough is today. A writer, art critic and environmentalist, Ruskin’s thinking on nature, arts, mental health and wellbeing is timeless.

Join our guided walk, as community presenters bring his work to life using material specially commissioned from leading Ruskin experts and local artists.

Please find here the Eventbrite link to the launch event:

If you are interested to attend, please do sign up sooner rather than later, as numbers are limited to 30 participants for each of the two rounds (at 2pm and 3pm).

The greening of Camberwell


Ben Moxham, Sophy Taylor and Elaine Clarke share the ambitions of the Trees and Green Spaces group

In the winter 2021 issue of the Camberwell Quarterly, we described the launch of the Camberwell Trees and Green Spaces Group. And explained our research into green spaces and local opinion that formed the basis of our priorities. This article gives a brief forward look to 2022.

Our third tree-themed walk

In early spring 2022, we will be publishing the Ruskin Park Walk. We have been developing this with the Campaign to Protect Rural England (London) and the Friends of Ruskin Park, with input from the Guild of St George – an educational charity founded by John Ruskin.

We have commissioned six short, accessible written contributions from leading Ruskin experts which explain his thinking, experience, and observations of nature. Ruskin lived in a house near the park for almost 30 years. Each contribution will be linked to stops for the walker next to remarkable trees or interesting views within Ruskin Park. Look out for more information about this project, including a planned event, on the Camberwell Society website!

More volunteering

This spring we are planning to step up our volunteering work. There will be a new series of activities to undertake the gardening and litter clearing tasks which have been suggested by friends’ groups and resident associations. One such activity will focus on creative planting in tree pits in central Camberwell. We are hoping to soon expand our core team to increase our capacity to organise volunteering initiatives.

Planning and Planting

Improving communication with Southwark Council’s trees and green spaces officers remains a key priority. We will work with them on matters such as tree planting and replacement, parks maintenance schedules and consideration of the Urban Greening Factor within planning cases (this work will be undertaken in conjunction with the Camberwell Society’s Planning Subcommittee).

Green Corridors

We will be working with the SE5 Forum to help plan the green corridors that could connect some of Camberwell’s green spaces, from Burgess Park to Myatt’s Fields to Ruskin Park to Camberwell Green and all the smaller green spaces in between. It would be important to provide some coordination of the different proposals that have been made, so that groups can support each other across Lambeth and Southwark. So, we will start with a public meeting.

All in all, we are looking forward to a full and active year ahead.


The trees and open spaces of Ruskin Park photo Niki Borowiecki

Volunteers unite to improve our environment

Ben Moxham, Sophy Tayler and Elaine Clarke describe the work of the Camberwell Trees & Green Spaces Group.

The Camberwell Trees & Green Spaces Group was formed earlier this year to focus on practical green initiatives in the area. It reports both to the Camberwell Society and SE5 Forum for Camberwell.

One of our first projects was to map the green spaces in the area. We discovered there are around 40 parks, council estate open spaces, pocket spaces, open spaces and other green spaces across Camberwell – a truly impressive number.

We next surveyed around 20 representatives of different Friends groups and Tenants & Residents Associations to help shape the priorities of our group. This exercise led us to three clear priorities:

  • Improve communication with Southwark Council and large companies in the area on trees and green spaces issues;
  • ensure trees and green spaces are properly considered in the planning process of major development projects in the area;
  • implement a new volunteering programme for ad hoc litter picking and gardening projects brought forward by groups such as the friends.

We also want to highlight the remarkable trees that we have in SE5 and are working on a series of tree walks. These are featured on the Camberwell Society’s website.

Our new volunteering programme has made a good start. We have been running events every six to eight weeks, supported by Idverde, one of Southwark Council’s contractors. So far, we have organised two litter picking campaigns on Camberwell Green. The second, in June, included the local 23rd Camberwell Scout Group – and an enthusiastic group of litter pickers organised by Lambeth Friends of the Earth – alongside Friends of Camberwell Green and a large number of local volunteers. Throughout the summer, we have been handing out sunflower seeds to schools and to local residents via the SE5 Forum stand on Camberwell Green every Saturday morning.

We also organised a ‘bramble, buddleia and bindweed bashing’ event at Thorlands (off Denmark Road), with 10 volunteers clearing a patch of derelict garden in order to help the Thorlands friends team achieve their goal of creating a new relaxation area for local residents.

The scouts will be at work again shortly with a weeding and clearing event in St Giles Churchyard in October. We are also trying a more street-focused event, with a planting campaign on Camberwell Grove and its surroundings.

We think we are ready to move on from this year’s trial phase to a regular programme of events running between March and October 2022. We are looking for a volunteer to help us plan and coordinate this. Could this be you? For anyone interested, please contact us at:

Green spaces plan

Did you know that there are nearly 40 parks or green spaces that are wholly, or partially in the Camberwell area? Many have friends groups and TRA/TMO organisations with dedicated volunteers doing amazing work planting, weeding, picking litter and generally caring for our natural environment. As a green spaces user, you might be out walking, taking children to let off steam, or just watching the wildlife. Recently, lockdown has made us more aware of the value of those spaces.

The Trees and Green spaces group in an initiative supported by the Camberwell Society and SE5 Forum for Camberwell. The new group consulted a wide range of different friends groups about their priorities and what support could usefully be offered. To see the full list of those parks and green spaces, and to read more about the new group's proposed areas of focus, click this link.

Show more posts

Cleanup Camberwell
The greening of Camberwell
INSIDE THE LATEST CAMBERWELL QUARTERLYBen Moxham, Sophy Taylor and Elaine Clarke share the ambitions of the Trees and Green Spaces group...
Volunteers unite to improve our environment
Ben Moxham, Sophy Tayler and Elaine Clarke describe the work of the Camberwell Trees & Green Spaces Group....
Green spaces plan
Did you know that there are nearly 40 parks or green spaces that are wholly, or partially in the Camberwell area? Many have friends groups ...
Downloadable tree maps
Click on the links below for our downloadable detailed tree mapsLucas gardends tree mapBrunswick Park tree mapSt Giles churchyard tree ...
Urban Gardening Looking Good
Nick Mair, Chair of the Camberwell Society has been brightening up the neighbourhood again. Below a stunning display of irises in Stories ...
Tree walk
Although our planned guided tree walk event has been postponed due to the pandemic,we have put together the first of a series of self ...
Update: The Litter at the Station will soon be Gone!!!
We said NetworkRail have informed us that they have responded to our badgering and instructed a contractor to clear the rubbish from ...