Green spaces #1: Bernie Spain Gardens

Situated at the heart of London, Waterloo and the South Bank are urban. Yet, a walk around our neighbourhood will unearth several green spaces. In this series, we bring you open spaces in our local neighbourhood that allow us to breathe and connect with nature!


Just a few minutes away from Waterloo, Southwark and Blackfriars stations, Bernie Spain Gardens is "an oasis at the heart of our neighbourhood... enjoyed by local residents, local employees and millions of visitors every year!"

Before Bernie Spain Gardens was created in 1988, the area was heavily industralised


The gardens, located between OXO Tower Wharf and Gabriel's Wharf, are owned and managed by Coin Street Community Builders. They told us that "the Gardens are named after Bernadette Spain, a local campaigner for health and housing provision in the 1980s."

Exciting news - a planned upgrade!


This sanctuary of green is even more valuable in a post-lockdown world.The neighbourhood needs quiet green spaces where local people can find peace from the busyness of the South Bank.


Coin Street writes: "Bernie Spain Gardens have not had a major upgrade since they were created in 1988. Since then the neighbourhood has experienced significant change with new homes, offices and hotels being built. To maintain this well-used and much-loved local amenity, improvements are taking place." Coin Street want to transform a pedestrian walkway into an idyllic garden, with a focus on nature and quiet relaxation.


"The proposals follow consultation with neighbours in 2016. A landscape design competition commenced in 2017, and detailed design work began 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’."


You can see some illustrations of the proposed design below. But before that... Southwark Council is currently asking people to choose where the investment of neighbourhood funds should go and there is still time to vote to help bring to life this beautiful vision for Bernie Spain Gardens north. The vote ends on Sunday 31 May so please support the upgrade as a project worthy of investment. You can do so by clicking here to vote Bernie Spain. Please share with friends and family via Facebook or Twitter too. If enough people click agree, we hope to encourage Southwark Council to throw their support behind better quality green space for the neighbourhood to enjoy!



Find us at:

St John's Waterloo

Waterloo Road

London SE1 8TY

Presented by:

Presenting sponsor:

HB Reavis logo.jpg

Website design and illustrations:

Hart Club

David Bassadone