Green Space Guardians award 2012
This award is for a group or organisation, big or small, which has championed green spaces and places.
Learn more about the shortlisted entries here - and the winners of the 2012 Green Space Guardians award, Friends of King Henry's Walk Garden.
Winner: Friends of King Henry's Walk Garden - North London
A scrap of wasteland in North London has been transformed in to a tranquil community garden. After years of hard work, the Friends of King Henry’s Walk Garden have created a beautiful green space in an area where many families don’t have outside space.
Run by volunteers, the garden holds endless workshops and regularly opens to the public. Locals rent growing spaces at low rates, and there’s a blooming calendar of workshops, events and education programmes. The summer fete is a must, with hundreds turning up to sample locally made icecream and have a go on the coconut shy.
In a seemingly buzzing place there’s still space for wildlife. Native hedges are planted for food and shelter, dragonflies patrol the pond and bird and bat boxes make safe urban homes.
What the garden has in bucket-loads is community spirit – with space to picnic and play, grow and gently unwind.
Nominated by Nicola Freshwater
Runner up: Groundwork London
Groundwork London challenges convention. Its dedicated staff and volunteers are ‘greening up’ long-forgotten land and making a noise about the importance of green space in our lives.
From pocket-sized renovations to complex home energy improvement schemes, every year Groundwork London works on more than 800 environmental projects.
In the Olympic Host Boroughs alone, it’s regenerating 45 areas of derelict land.
From the start, communities are given a sense of ownership and pride in their surroundings. And more than 350 schools are also on board and improving their grounds. The Green Team employs and trains people to carry out landscape improvement, and Green Buddies are professional gardeners working with over 60s and people with disabilities to nurture their own gardens.
Groundwork London never gives up. It puts a lot of its effort into London’s most deprived communities, bringing people together for a common cause.
Nominated by Katherine Fowler
Bankside Open Spaces Trust - South London
Squeezed between Waterloo and Tower Bridges, the Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) protects vital breathing spaces.
Home is the Red Cross Garden in Southwark, which on its opening as the first Victorian community garden moved Octavia Hill to say, “Nature breathes in darkest Southwark.” Over time, this beautiful garden got lost under municipal grass and tarmac, but BOST’s dogged determination led to its recent revival.
The Trust is a safety net – stepping in to save green spaces where others have failed. ‘Edible Bankside’ is another success story – a food-growing plot for local residents in an area where there are few allotments. And its Diversity Garden is a thriving green space in Library Street, boasting raised beds and a mini wildflower meadow. It is even taking on ancient monuments, such as the ruins of Winchester Palace.
The Bankside Open Spaces Trust still carries Octavia Hill’s spirit in everything it does.
Nominated by Edward John