Bankside Urban Forest has been recognised by the Mayor of London, who awarded the long term project highly commended in the 2014 London Tree & Woodland Awards. Bankside Urban Forest was highlighted as a wonderful example of an inspiring public space strategy which puts people, partnership working, creativity and urban greening at its heart.
Donald Hyslop, Chair of Better Bankside, and the Bankside Urban Forest Steering Group said ‘Bankside Urban Forest is an important strand of Better Bankside’s ambition for Bankside to be the best neighbourhood in the world to work, live and visit. We are delighted, on behalf of our all our Bankside Urban Forest partners, to receive this recognition from the Mayor of London and the Forestry Commission.’
Deborah Collins, Director of Environment and Leisure at Southwark Council said: ‘I am delighted that the Bankside Urban Forest has been formally recognised in the London Tree and Woodland Awards. The initiative demonstrates the value of partnership working in helping to deliver long term change to Southwark’s public realm in the north of the Borough, this not only brings benefits to residents, businesses and visitors to the neighbourhood, but brings multiple environmental benefits to this area of Central London.’
Through Bankside Urban Forest, Better Bankside and its partners have been working hard to improve Bankside's green credentials by making the area greener, more attractive to visit, and more resilient to adapt to our ever changing climate.
Since its launch in 2007, Bankside Urban Forest has planted over 250 trees through a range of place making projects across the Bankside neighbourhood. There have been improvements to 10,000m² of public spaces and 1,000m² additional urban greening through green roofs, walls and rain gardens in the area.
Local workers and residents enjoy the successes of recent Bankside Urban Forest projects. From the transformation of Flat Iron Square, with its green roof canopy, to the rainwater harvester which provides a sustainable water supply for a community food growing project.
Future plans are focusing on the transformation of key streets leading away from the riverside to encourage greater footfall and exploration of the area.
Look out for Bankside Urban Forest events during the London Festival of Architecture in June.