Image credit: pupils from Johanna Primary School help with the planting © Waterloo Quarter

4 November 2014

Local residents and businesses, ‘eco-warriors’ from Johanna Primary School and volunteers from Oasis Academy South Bank will come together on Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th November to implement a new planting project in SE1.

Five tonnes of sand, 60 recycled fruit juice barrels and hundreds of buddleia, daisy, honeysuckle and ivy plants will be used to transform four sites in the Waterloo area.

Commissioned by Waterloo Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) and supported by the Mayor of London, the scheme is the first step towards increasing green infrastructure in the Waterloo and South Bank area, increasing biodiversity and addressing the impacts of climate change. The planting project represents just some of the opportunities for greening Waterloo Quarter, which were identified by a green infrastructure audit funded by the Mayor of London’s ‘Greening the BIDs’ programme in 2012.

The designs, created by local landscape consultants (uncommon), focus on the re-purposing of 60 recycled fruit juice barrels to create attractive and robust planters that can be arranged in a number of configurations depending on the space available and suitability of each site.

The new planters provide a ‘next generation’ replacement for the hanging basket display and are a more environmentally sustainable solution to greening the area. The planters can be adapted to be watered from down-pipes from neighbouring buildings, and the plants chosen are attractive ‘urban weeds’ that can stand a greater degree of heat, shade, lack of water and urban pollution than other species. Some of the plants are climbers so will eventually green whole facades to achieve a green-wall effect.

Five initial sites have been selected for the first stage of the scheme:
The Cut, SE1 opposite LeSoCo
Lambeth North Underground station
A site at the junction of Lower Marsh and Baylis Road
The retail parade on Kennington Road
An area on Waterloo Road close to St George’s Circus

Speaking about the planting scheme Helen Santer, CEO of Waterloo Quarter, said: “The planters are small-scale but the intention is for them to eventually populate the whole area. Our ambition is to make the area greener and more bio-diverse – creating a more environmentally sustainable and pleasant place to live and work. In the long term, by improving the green infrastructure in Waterloo and South Bank, we are helping to provide many social, economic and environmental benefits for local residents and businesses.”

The first planting event will take place between 10:00-11:30am on Tuesday 4th November on Lower Marsh, SE1 with ‘eco-warriors’ from Johanna Primary School. Further planting events will take place during the 4th and 5th November. Visit for further information.

Planting support is being provided by Collingwood Environmental Planning, Oasis Academy South Bank, Planning Perspectives and residents from Styles House. FM Conway is providing in-kind support in the form of transport, labour and sand. Toolshop London, based on Lower Marsh, is providing the planting volunteers with gardening gloves, trowels and forks.