Details of 'great park' in London revealed
The London 2012 Olympic Park is to become the largest urban park in the UK for over 100 years, the Olympic Delivery Authority has advised. With two years to go until the international events take place work is currently underway to create 250 acres of parklands on former industrial land which will be left as a legacy to London.
Included in the plans is a massive four football pitch sized secure allotment area. Allotments are traditionally used by locals to grow their own fruit and vegetables, a trend which is witnessing a revival in the age of eco-living in the UK. Over 4,000 trees will also be planted in permanent parklands, a large hanging garden on the huge footbridge from Stratford City with meadows, lawns, shrubs and rows of trees will welcome people over the main walking entrance into the Park and 3 km of restored river way will be made accessible.
300,000 wetlands plants and hundreds of thousands of plants and bulbs will be planted in varied parklands including wooded hills, meadows, ponds, lawns, gardens and wet woodlands providing new habitats for a range of species from otters and water voles through grass snakes and lizards, to kingfishers and herons. But the park is also set to be a hive of human activity within its serene surroundings with a mile long road cycle circuit lit with low UV lighting at night, 6km of off-road bike tracks, 250 benches, a new regional sports club, an amphitheatre and plenty of architectural detail such as lighting columns to turn the landscaped surroundings into a welcoming public space.
“We are cleaning up industrial land and creating the green backdrop for the London 2012 Games," said ODA Chief Executive David Higgins. "Inspired by the original Victorian parks, the meadows, gardens, woods and river walks in this new ‘great park’ will create a fantastic public space for people and wildlife right at the heart of the transformation of east London.”
Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell added: “Nowhere else will features like the Great British Garden, wetlands and new wildlife habitats sit side by side with world class sports facilities. This will be a destination that the whole nation can be proud of.”
The parkland will be developed further by the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) which is responsible for the long term development, management and maintenance of the Olympic Park site after the Games.