Bernie Spain Gardens

Like an oasis at the heart of the neighbourhood, Bernie Spain Gardens is enjoyed by local residents, local employees as well as the thousands of visitors to the area.

Named after Bernadette Spain, a local campaigner on health and housing provisions for the area’s residents in the 1980s, the gardens are owned, managed and maintained by Coin Street Community Builders.

Planned upgrade

The gardens have not had a major upgrade since they were created in 1988. To maintain this important, well-used and loved local amenity, improvements are planned to the infrastructure, such as drainage, irrigation and top soil.

Consultation and design competition

Our Bernie Spain Gardens consultation in 2016 told us that the south Garden (south of Upper Ground) was well-liked but that the much more heavily trafficked north Garden next to the river seemed worn and in need of upgrading. Some planting improvements in the south Garden are already underway (see below) but for the north Garden we launched a design competition inviting proposals for a full re-landscaping. Headlines of the brief, informed by the 2016 consultation, include

  • A robust, high quality garden that is as natural and green as possible
  • Much enhanced planting, with year-round horticultural interest, including biodiverse and sensory planting where possible
  • Facilities for garden staff and horticulture training programmes
  • New irrigation and drainage, paths, seating, lighting, and CCTV

We have shortlisted five landscape architect teams.  Here are their design proposals:

Bradley-Hole Schoenaich

J & L Gibbons

Kinnear Landscape Architects (KLA)

Reynolds Design

West 8

Thank you to everyone who provided comment and feedback by attending the public presentation and exhibition, and via our online feedback form in March.

The winner will be announced in April.

For more information please email Louise King.

Makeover of south part of gardens

The southern part of the gardens is also getting a mini-makeover. We are working with Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) and Idverde to replant the flower bed on the eastern edge of the gardens during winter and spring 2017/18. A variety of planting will be introduced providing seasonal colour throughout the year and plants introduced to attract pollinators (eg butterflies) and other wildlife. There are two community planting sessions talking place on 27 March, 10 & 17 April – see below for contact details.

Get gardening

If you are interested in gardening our Gorgeous Gardens gardening sessions are held regularly and open to anyone with an interest in growing regardless of age or ability. Please get in touch with Laura on 020 7021 1600 or for further information.

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