Bernie Spain Gardens

Like an oasis at the heart of our neighbourhood, Bernie Spain Gardens is enjoyed by local residents, local employees as well as millions of people who visit us every year.

Named after Bernadette Spain, a campaigner on health and housing provisions for local 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. Since then the neighbourhood has experienced – and continues to experience – significant change with new homes, offices and hotels being built. To maintain this important, well-used and much-loved local amenity, improvements are taking place.

The proposals follow consultation with neighbours in 2016, a landscape design competition commenced in 2017, and detailed design work in 2018. The re-landscaping project developed through this process received planning approval from Lambeth and Southwark in Spring 2019.

Dutch landscape architect West 8 won the landscape design competition for its ‘pollinator garden’ .

CGI of the pollinator garden by West 8

West 8’s design for the north part of Bernie Spain Gardens

The new design includes a wider variety of trees and new ‘pollinator’ flower beds to create year-round colour and interest as well as new lawns, seating and lighting. There will also be facilities for a head gardener, deputy head gardener, trainees and volunteer gardeners.

A reference group of local residents reviewed the plans as they evolved. Sustainability is key and there was a particular focus on the management and maintenance strategy for the new gardens.

The planning consent by Lambeth and Southwark to create the ‘pollinator garden’ also includes a new garden and seating between the former Television Centre and riverside walkway, and a pedestrian bridge linking Bernie Spain Gardens to the courtyard at Oxo Tower Wharf.

For more information please email Louise King.

Makeover of south part of gardens

The southern part of the gardens has also been getting a mini-makeover. We have been working with Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) and Idverde to re-plant the eastern flower bed and the circular bed. Further work is planned for the western edge.  The new planting provides seasonal colour throughout the year and the plants have been selected to attract pollinators (eg butterflies) and other wildlife. New signage is also planned.

Get gardening

Love the gardens and fancy some gardening? We run gardening activities at Bernie Spain Gardens and elsewhere locally. To get involved in our Gentle Gardening sessions please get in touch with Laura on 020 7021 1600 or for further information. Open to all regardless of age or ability.