The Northbank In Bloom

Public Realm  

April 30, 2015

A celebration of all things green and floral in the Northbank area. Get involved: tweet or email us photos of your plants!

The London In Bloom campaign is the largest horticultural campaign in London, involving 100’s of communities each year. Participating communities create lasting improvements to their local environment for the benefit of those that live, work and visit there, today and in the future.

Collage Bloom Judging 2016

The Northbank In Bloom efforts tackle everything from litter, graffiti and anti-social behaviour through to conservation, sustainability and improving horticultural standards, and that’s not to mention the positive impact on sense of place, community spirit and pride.

Last year the BID was successful in receiving a Bronze Award and we’re looking forward to finding out the results for this year in September.

2016 identified ‘greening’ points:

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With contributions from TfL, JLL, Amba Hotel, Gordon’s Wine Bar, IET, The Savoy, Salieri, Strand Palace Hotel and The Garden Bridge Trust on the judging day in July, it was a wonderfully full showcase of the area’s capabilities and efforts.

Here are some of the points picked up along the route…

Public Spaces:

  • Award winning park at Victoria Embankment Gardens
  • Second park at Temple Station available for public access.
  • Magnificent collection of London Planes along Victoria Embankment, Aldwych, Northumberland Avenue
  • Total lack of weeds in gutters and beside buildings.
  • The National Gallery’ front lawn  with unique fig hedge.
  • Trafalgar Square provides access to St James’s Park via Admiralty Arch.
  • Plans to create The Garden Bridge from within the Bid Area.
  • Summer Festival and activities in Victoria Embankment Gardens for those who live, work and visit the area with Tennis screened and blankets
  • Plans to create clean air passages for pedestrians.
  • Excellent communication with Westminster City Council Parks and Street Cleaning  Departments and contractors.
  • 2 Ping pong tables, 200 deck chairs in the parks for public use.
  • Regular free concerts in band stand for the public’s benefit.
  • The world’s ecology is showcased by representative offices from Canada, Zimbabwe, India, Australia, South Africa and many other counties.
  • Heritage of London’s market gardening is celebrated at nearby Old Covent Garden Market.
  • Street Planting initiatives undertaken by the BID to radically improve “grot-spots”.
  • Trafalgar Square is the most visited public square in Britain and is the site of world famous Nelson’s Column, the fountains and Landseer’s iconic lions.
  • The famous Royal Courts of Justice, open to the public, regularly appears on the national news and is within the BID area.
  • The Strand has had Christmas Lights installed for the first time in 2015 by the BID
  • The BID area is the most visited area of London by foreign tourists and we should therefore be justifiably proud of our appearance.
  • Our reputation as the world’s greenest city is demonstrated to our foreign visitors when they visit the BID area.

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Wildlife:

  • Bees hotel at Canada House
  • Roof of 6 Agar Street, bat box and bird box
  • LSE bees with wildlife garden on roof
  • National Portrait Gallery bees
  • PwC – water testing, away days at Wildlife Trust, roof terrace
  • River with Thames Tideway Tunnel, keeping river clean  providing garden at Embankment
  • Somerset House roof garden – edibles, flowers for pollinators and bees
  • Victoria Embankment Garden – water for birds etc
  • Tree study for long term management of trees in Aldwych, Victoria Embankment, Northumberland Ave, Kingsway. Reviewing additional tree types that may be suitable for the area
  • Hawk patrol to reduce pigeon numbers
  • Anti pigeon fitting to buildings – near Embankment Place
  • Free Bee hotels demonstration within Summer Festival

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Community:

  • Litter picking in Villiers Street area by local businesses, Heaven & McDonalds
  • Working with Westminster for additional cleaning, bin provision, flushing areas, graffiti removal
  • Communication of cleaning issues from residents with Ambassadors and clean team
  • St Clement School – bulbs, planters and roof garden
  • Summer festival in Victoria Embankment GardensChristmas lights on Strand
  • Alcove washing
  • The Good Gym – run from Somerset House to clean church grounds and back again
  • Cleaning of St Marys le Strand
  • Cleaning of St Clement Danes church
  • Cleaning of St Martins in the Field
  • The Garden Bridge – Links with business, schools and operations
  • Utopia – LSE free talks about greening in urban spaces
  • Artnight – overnight culture
  • Courtauld Institute – plant themed art
  • National Gallery – promoting link flowers and art and placemaking
  • Connections – Temple Garden Project
  • Working with Mcdonalds for night cleaning teams – rest breaks and winter
  • Working with business for air quality and freight and waste consolidations
  • Stubbiesto reduce cigarette littering near café and pubs
  • Community Payback litter picking (324hrs ) & bollards painted (24)
  • BFG Dream Jar in Victoria Embankment Gardens

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Online Community:

Social media (Instagram, Twitter etc)

  • 12 posts by businesses
  • 242 likes
  • 16 comments
  • 12 posts

Website

  • Page views of Gallery – 40% increase on last year (112)
  • Time spent on the Bloom gallery page – 106% increase on last year
  • Bounce rate – reduced by 46% on last year

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Future Plans:

  • Embankment Station Greening with London Underground and Transport for London
  • Social media, website (Instagram, Twitter etc) to promote the fun and creative elements of horticulture.
  • Air Quality, improvements to quieter streets to improve walking routes away from more polluted roads
  • Trees working with owners and stakeholders to ensure the long term sustainability of tree stock.
  • Area wide lighting survey and masterplan for BID footprint with detailed strategy of project areas: Aldwych, Villiers Street and Strand.
  • Connections Rough Sleeping Outreach Charity at Temple Garden Project to promote  the benefits of  horticulture for self confidence, mental health, skills and preparation for work environment.
  • The Garden Bridge –  continued working together for construction planning and operations planning (Schools, local businesses and community groups)
  • Continued graffiti, litter picking, flyposter removal

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Getting involved couldn’t be simpler… tell us if you already have flowers or if you wish to start. Perhaps you can create a fantastic shop window display, mix a delicious cocktail or decorate a floral cupcake for the office.

Send in images for the online gallery via email, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook: 

@TheNorthbankBID and #NorthbankinBloom

Do you have flowers and plants?

Send us pictures and we will add them to the Bloom Gallery on the Northbank website. Or tweet us directly @TheNorthbankBID and #NorthbankInBloom. We can even take photos for you.

Could you do a little extra?

Get Greening, get creative

There is a plant and a flower to suit all spaces, office and hotel receptions, window display, roof terrace and entrance area planters. Why create a new food or frink with a floral theme? We’d love to hear about what you are planning.

Inspiration

Perhaps include some sunflowers and be inspired by ‘Sunflowers’ Van Gogh’s famous painting at the National Gallery.

For more information contact Alison Gregory
M: 07889 544163 T: 0203 697 9271
E: alison@thenorthbank.london