Better Bankside and local environmental charity Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) have been awarded Category winners and Gold in the Urban Community category in the 2022 London In Bloom Awards for their contribution to green spaces in the Southwark district.
19 individual parks and gardens create a rich patchwork of small and beautiful pocket parks, hidden spaces, green streets and piazzas in the SE1 area, enhancing the health and wellbeing of the local community.
Better Bankside’s mixed community of businesses and residents has provided ample opportunity for involving people in the design, funding and maintenance of the area’s green spaces, while BOST’s volunteer-led programme, running approximately 20 hours of volunteer gardening sessions a week, enables green spaces to be community-lead and community-managed.
From historic gardens to green walls, metal box gardens (converted skips), urban forests, wildlife ponds, planters and corridors, Bankside’s mix of historic green spaces, new developments and its network of streets and public spaces create a range of opportunities for exploring different approaches to gardening in the city.
An example of this is the BID’s vision to create a green corridor along the exciting new Low Line – a new regeneration and innovation development, spanning the rail viaducts of Bankside, London Bridge and Bermondsey .
All of the projects run by Business Improvement District, Better Bankside and BOST adopt an ecological approach to their methods. They are organically managed, with no pesticides or weed killers and use peat free compost, whilst each plant is chosen to be suited to the specific environment it is being planted in, to enable it to thrive.
Nicole Gordon, CEO of Better Bankside, said: “Green spaces play such an important part in urban communities and we are very proud to have been recognised for the hard work that has gone in to creating and maintaining these essential areas across the SE1 district. Bankside Open Spaces Trust is an invaluable partner to work with on this initiative, which has grown beautifully with the help of their volunteer programme.”
Now, in its 53rd year, London In Bloom remains a powerful tool for positive change and recognises communities for their efforts in maintaining London’s Green and Gardening assets.