On Sunday 6th July, Friends of Streatham Cemetery, in partnership with Groundwork London and Lambeth Council were joined by local residents to celebrate the re-opening of an entrance into Streatham Cemetery that has been closed to the public for 20 years. This makes this phenomenal area of green space much more accessible to the hustle and bustle of Tooting High St.  Tooting residents gathered outside the gates that had been beautifully decorated in floral garlands, to hear Lucy Neal of Friends of Streatham Cemetery talk about the significance of the re-opening of the gate, making the wildlife rich green space on the other side accessible to local people. Some of the local residents shared their personal memories of the cemetery and the new gates were then unlocked for partners and local residents to explore the newly improved green space within. Streatham Cemetery has recently undergone a number of improvements in order to make the space more accessible and of greater value to the local community. The improvements include the creation of raised beds for local people to take part in planting and growing activities, the installation of a noticeboard to keep people informed about local events and opportunities, benches where people can sit and relax and an apiary with three bee hives.

The cemetery is located in a built up area and offers a much needed oasis for residents to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of nature and wildlife on their doorstep.

Lucy Neal said: Streatham Cemetery is a glorious and under-used green space in Tooting. The Friends have been working to cherish local history, wildlife and beauty and the re-opening of the pedestrian gate is a small but very significant moment in bringing this area back into use as a community space for all’.  Kate Allan (BATCA) who attended the event said: “It was a gentle and inspiring ceremony. The cemetery is a haven of expansiveness and peace. I loved the garlands! Well done’.”  More photos of the event here.