Gaia Bawden is the daughter of Kay Bawden and originally lived in London. She moves to Pagford with her mother, who wants to be closer to her boyfriend, Gavin Hughes. She misses London and her old friends, but befriends Sukhvinder Jawanda.

Gaia is described as an attractive young girl who is admired by many classmates. Andrew Price has a crush on her, but she later kisses his best friend "Fats" at a party whilst drunk.