New native hedge planting

Native hedge planting providing additional autumn colour

Our new hedge planting is underway with around 100m of native Beech and Hornbeam set to replace the damaged and depleted hedge along the boundary at the County Hall/London Eye side of Jubilee Gardens.

Thanks to generous funding from The London Eye these new trees have arrived just in time to provide some spectacular autumn colour. The native hedge will keep some foliage year-round, creating visual interest as well as providing shelter, roosting, nesting and foraging opportunities for birds and small mammals right through the colder months. These native trees will also provide habitats for insects boosting biodiversity on this side of the Gardens.

The plants going in are already a substantial size so the impact is impressive and will only improve year on year as our new native hedge planting settles and establishes itself.

Native beech and Hornbeam hedge plants in a row after planting in Jubilee Gardens. Native beech and Hornbeam hedge plants in containers ready for planting in Jubilee Gardens. Native beech and Hornbeam hedge plants in a row after planting in Jubilee Gardens. Native beech and Hornbeam hedge plants in a row after planting in Jubilee Gardens.

About Beech and Hornbeam

Beech and Hornbeam typically have oval leaves which unfurl from pretty copper buds in spring. They are semi-evergreen, meaning they reliably hold their leaves except in very cold winters, with Beech’s leather-brown leaves usually hanging on until just before the new shoots appear the following spring. As native hedgerow planting, both Beech and Hornbeam are popular with wildlife — nesting birds including Great Tits, Blue Tits and Blackcaps prefer Beech, while Blackbirds, Thrushes, Finches and tiny Wrens favour Hornbeam. The catkins that appear on both Beech and Hornbeam each spring provide food for foraging birds and small mammals.

We already have a number of Beech trees but Hornbeam is a new species to Jubilee Gardens. At first glance similar-looking to Beech, Hornbeam is a tough, broadleaf tree with pale grey bark bearing vertical markings and can live for more than 300 years. Its twigs are brown-grey and slightly hairy, and with age the trunk can become twisted and ridged. Leaves are oval with pointed tips (similar to Beech leaves) but have serrated or ‘toothed’ edges, are smaller and more deeply veined. Autumn colours usually range from golden yellow to deep orange with leaves staying on branches through much of the winter. Flowers are in the form of catkins – both male and female catkins are found on the same tree. After pollination by the wind these develop into papery, green winged fruits, known as samaras.

You can find out more about other tree species in Jubilee Gardens here.

Advance notice of playground closure for maintenance

The Jubilee Gardens adventure  playground will be closed for essential cleaning and maintenance from Monday 30th October until Sunday 5th November inclusive. This is for for essential cleaning and maintenance required to ensure the playground remains safe and enjoyable well into the future.

Please bear with us during this closure.

Jubilee Gardens receives Green Flag Award for third year running

Today, the Jubilee Gardens Trust is celebrating after receiving a Green Flag Award for Jubilee Gardens for the third year in a row.

The Green Flag Award is the international quality mark for parks and green spaces and receiving the award three years running is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team that care for the Gardens so that everyone can enjoy them.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Award Scheme Manager Paul Todd MBE said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved at Jubilee Gardens in achieving a Green Flag Award.

“Jubilee Gardens is a vital green space for the community in South Bank and Central London, bringing people together and providing opportunities to lead healthy lifestyles. The staff and volunteers do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards of the Green Flag Award and everyone involved should feel extremely proud of their achievement.”

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

A full list of Green Flag Award-winning parks and green spaces is available here. Find out about the history of Jubilee Gardens and the Jubilee Gardens Trust which manages the space on London’s South Bank.

International Brigades annual commemoration 1st July

International Brigades memorial, Jubilee Gardens

There was a strong international flavour to the International Brigades Memorial Trust’s annual commemoration on 1st July at the International Brigade memorial in Jubilee Gardens. This years event marked the 85th anniversary of the Battle of the Ebro, July to November 1938.

International Brigades commemoration event in Jubilee Gardens. From left: Nancy Wallach from ALBA (USA), IBMT President Marlene Sidaway, and Claude Desmazure from ACER (France) © 2023 Andrew Wiard

Guest speakers included Nancy Wallach, daughter of Lincoln Brigader Hy Wallach and board member of the New York-based Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA), and Claude Desmazure, representative of the Paris-based ACER (Les Amis des Combattants en Espagne Républicaine).

More than 200 people gathered in Jubilee Gardens for the IBMT event where there was a minutes silence, wreaths were laid and the event closed with the singing of ‘The Internationale’.

View a slideshow of photos taken by Andrew Wiard, and visit the IMBT website for more information about the International Brigades and the memorial in Jubilee Gardens.

Jubilee Gardens Summer Party

On a beautiful evening on 14 June, the Jubilee Gardens Trust held a summer garden party for local residents, businesses and supporters to highlight the work of the Trust, our exciting future developments and how to get involved in this vitally important green space at the heart of our South Bank community.

The Trustees were joined by His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, Florence Eshalomi MP, Leader of Lambeth Council Cllr Claire Holland, HM Deputy Lieutenant for Lambeth Christopher Wellbelove and Mayor of Lambeth Cllr Sarbaz Barznji as well as local residents and business representatives from the South Bank and Waterloo area.

Ted Inman, Chair of the Jubilee Gardens Trust opened the event, explaining the history of the site which was first opened as a park in 1977 by Queen Elizabeth II and re-landscaped in 2012 when the Queen visited again. Ted also talked about some of the upcoming projects to improve the Gardens including the much-anticipated expansion which will see the area increase by 40%.

Florence Eshalomi, Cllr Holland and The Duke of Gloucester all gave short speeches. They thanked the Trustees and grounds team for managing and maintaining such a vital, busy area and highlighted the importance of urban green spaces such as Jubilee Gardens.

A delicious lemon chiffon cake in the design of Jubilee Gardens, generously donated by Konditor, and music by Sandra and Paul added the finishing touches to a glorious warm sunny evening.

If you’d like to find out more about our future plans, sign up to our newsletter and we will make sure you are the first to know.

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