London SE1 community website

Grand opening for Community Garden at Tate Modern

London SE1 website team

A new Community Garden for Bankside residents to escape from the hustle and bustle of the riverside has been officially opened.

Nicholas Serota and Edith Slee
Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota and steering group member Edith Slee cut the ribbon to open the new garden
Grand opening for Community Garden at Tate Modern
Grand opening for Community Garden at Tate Modern

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.

The SE1 website is supported by people like you
We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

News archive from February 1999 to January 2001
Got a story for us?
Contact us with your tip-offs and story ideas.