A new Community Garden for Bankside residents to escape from the hustle and bustle of the riverside has been officially opened.
The Community Garden, which occupies a narrow strip of land between Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe, has been developed by Tate in partnership with Bankside Open Spaces Trust under the guidance of a steering group of local residents.
Features include a wildlife pond, herb garden, fruit trees and wildflower areas. Local artist Edith Slee has created a mosaic using materials gathered from the Thames foreshore. Some of the garden furniture has been created by Riverwood, a charity which works in partnership with Greenwich Mencap.
Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota says that he hopes that the Community Garden will serve as a model for the planned Bankside Urban Forest (formerly Urban Park) stretching from Tate Modern to the Elephant and Castle.
"Our ambition is to work with the local community to see little pockets of space like this created all over the area," Sir Nicholas told guests at the opening ceremony.
"Places where people can meet each other, where people can have a moment of contemplation if they want to, but essentially see themselves as part of a thriving, developing and vibrant community. That's what Bankside is now and that's why we're thrilled to be here and part of it."
The garden is aimed primarily at those who live in Bankside and do not have much outdoor space of their own.
Tate Modern brings millions of people to Bankside every year, putting pressure on the formerly quiet public spaces around the riverside. "This community is asked to smile at about 80,000 visitors a day," says Edith Slee. "This garden is a resource that can replenish those smiles."
If you live in the Bankside area and would like to make use of the garden, email [email protected] or call 020 7401 5176 to register your details.
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