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.


During 2016 we undertook consultation locally about our aspirations to improve the gardens. The feedback revealed the gardens are highly valued although a significant proportion of respondents (42%) felt that the gardens are ‘beginning to show signs of wear and tear’. The northern part of the gardens – the area closest to the river – was highlighted as needing attention, part of which was only ever temporarily landscaped.  Read the survey findings here.

Design competition

Based on our aspirations and this consultation, a design brief for the northern part of the gardens has been created and a landscape architect competition launched. The five shortlisted competition entrants are Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape; J & L Gibbons; Kinnear Landscape Architects (KLA); Reynolds Design; and West 8. Four landscape practices were shortlisted. The 5th shortlisted entrant – Reynolds Design – is the winner of a graduate competition organised by Coin Street and the London College of Garden Design and run in parallel with the wider competition. Read our news story about the design competition here.

The brief is to create outline schemes for a public open green space of high quality and sustainability and addressing requirements regarding paths, lawns, irrigation and to create horticultural interest with sensory planting that attracts wildlife. Other requirements include new CCTV, lighting and seating and new facilities for maintenance staff and gardening training programmes.

Further consultation – 15-17 March 2018

There will be opportunities for residents and others to comment on the design proposals at public presentations by shortlisted landscape architects at the Coin Street neighbourhood centre on evening of 15 March (7-9pm). The proposals will then be on display at an exhibition on 16 and 17 March where users of the gardens will be able to feedback their views.

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 20 & 27 March – 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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