All change at Waterloo!

Bankside Open Spaces Trust is pleased to announce that Waterloo Green is changing. Throughout the spring and early summer we have been working to add more plants, create raingarden, alter the cascade water feature and put in two exciting insect sculptures.

What is a raingarden?

A raingarden is a sustainable way of collecting both rainwater and nutrients. It holds water for a time before slowly releasing it into the soil, helping to reduce the impact of heavy rainfall on our sewerage system. Our raingarden collects the runoff from the paths at Waterloo Green. We have been welcoming corporate volunteers throughout the summer to plant up the raingarden with pollinator friendly and scented plants.

What are the new sculptures?

When we consulted parents, they asked for more activities for children on the green. As part of our marshland themed nature trail, which aims to reveal the marshy history of our area, we’ve added two insect sculptures - a larger-than-life migrant hawker dragonfly and a fen raft spider.

The migrant hawker dragonfly is a common sight on our other sites in SE1 including the Tate Community Garden, Crossbones Garden and Redcross Garden. The fen raft spider is now at risk in the UK but hundreds of years ago, when this area was marshland, these would have been a common sight. For more information about insects visit:

To create our sculptures, we worked with Can of Gas bespoke metalworkers in Bethnal Green with input from RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents). Local people have also worked on them, many thanks to our helpers!

Nature trail

We’ll be installing part of our new nature trail, with logs for children to balance and sit on and informal paths around the edge of the park. Later in the year, we’ll be commissioning artists to create information boards giving people, especially children, a playful way of learning about our marshland past.

Below are the designs of the play sculptures and the dragonfly under construction:

Sarah Mangan