Better Bankside is delighted to be the first Business Improvement District to be recognised by the Green Flag Award®. This international award which recognises the management of high quality green spaces closely follows our recent success of being awarded Gold in the 2017 London in Bloom awards, in partnership with BOST and Southwark Council. The Green Flag Award® programme is given internationally to organisations who have extemporarily managed parks and green spaces.
Through the Bankside Urban Forest partnership Better Bankside has been championing the delivery of more and better green infrastructure in the neighbourhood, improving the network of streets that connect the existing patchwork of green spaces, increase on-street green infrastructure, and transform underused spaces and streets. Quite simply, Bankside Urban Forest is a park without boundaries.
In the 10 years since it was launched, Bankside Urban Forest has secured over £4m invesement to deliver impactful landmark projects in partnership with Southwark Council and other local partners. These include Red Cross Way, Great Suffolk Street, Flat Iron Square and Ewer Street. Through these initiatives, streets have been transformed into thriving, green thoroughfares, helping deliver ‘healthy streets’ and vital wildlife habitats in the heart of London. Since 2013, Better Bankside has employed an Urban Gardener to help maintain the pockets of green sapces delivered through its project, this is now a thriving strand of work engaging local business and resident volunteers in its work.
Through the Low Line, Clean Air Mini Neighbourhoods, and Borough High Street Low Emission Neighbourhood projects, Bankside Urban Forest is creating clean air walking routes, helping to reduce pedestrian exposure to harmful emissions. Local businesses and residents have also played a key role in securing the Green Flag Award® through volunteer gardening sessions and the Blooming Champion’s ‘Adopt a Plot’ initiative.
Better Bankside CEO Peter Williams said: “When Better Bankside started its work in the early 2000s, many local businesses raised the issue of the lack of urban greening in the area. We are thrilled to be recognised by Green Flag for the work we do in growing and connecting Bankside’s network of green spaces, which helps to ensure those who live and work within the neighbourhood can access and enjoy tranquil green spaces within the dense medieval street network that still characterise Bankside. To be the first BID to win such an accolade is a real coup for us and a true credit to our team who work so hard to improve and progress the look and feel of Bankside.”
To find out more about current projects and how to get involved, please visit the Bankside Urban Forest page or email vb [at] betterbankside.co.uk (subject: Bankside%20Urban%20Forest) (Valerie Beirne).