Better Bankside is celebrating after winning two awards in the internationally-acclaimed Green Flag Awards.
Bankside’s Low Line was recognised for the first time in the Green Flag Community Award category, while Bankside Urban Forest was given the status for the fourth year running. The award is the international quality mark for parks and green spaces, based on a list of criteria from environmental management, to community involvement and creating a healthy, safe and secure public space.
The Low Line, a partnership between the Arch Company, Blue Bermondsey, Team London Bridge, and Better Bankside, has been acknowledged for its regeneration plans, which will see the mighty Victorian rail viaducts spanning Bankside, London Bridge and Bermondsey transformed into an exciting, innovative, old-but-new section of the city. Greening, biodiversity and climate change are all playing an integral part in to how the walking route is developed, which will remain sympathetic to its heritage while being forward-thinking in its approach to the environment.
While an exciting new win for Bankside, the Southwark neighbourhood is not new to the Green Flag Awards. Better Bankside was in fact, the first BID in the UK to be awarded a Green Flag Award when Bankside Urban Forest was first recognised in 2018. Launched in 2007, Bankside Urban Forest has seen medieval streets and mosaics of open spaces transformed into windows of colour, biodiversity and wellbeing. Since the project began, more than 250 trees have been planted, while green cover in the neighbourhood has increased by more than 1,000m². Overall, 10,000m² of public space have undergone improvements that have made the streets of Bankside better not only for its people but also the environment.
On winning the Green Flag status, Nicole Gordon, CEO of Better Bankside, said: “Finding opportunities to introduce new green spaces and planting into urban environments is vital in future proofing our cities. We’re very proud of having achieved the Green Flag award for Bankside Urban Forest and now the Low Line, we couldn’t have done it without the dedication of our Urban Gardener and network of partners and volunteers from across the Bankside neighbourhood.”
Commenting on the news that Bankside Urban Forest and Bankside Low Line has met the Green Flag Award standard, Keep Britain Tidy’s Accreditation Manager Paul Todd said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making Bankside worthy of a Green Flag Award. Bankside is a vital green space for the community in London. This award is testament to all the hard work of staff and volunteers, who do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.