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Olympic Park Saturday September 18th, 2010

Olympic Park visit

Ecologists blissfully ignore 80,000 seat stadium and get frothy when the conversation turns to creating back-water habitats and planted coir pallets” – Vilas Anthwal.

In 2008 BSG was invited to become part of the LDA-Design/Hargreaves design team appointed to prepare a masterplan for the 2012 London Olympic Park, within which the principal venues for the 2012 Olympic Games will reside. Since then BSG has been working closely with environmental consultant LDA Design and the Olympic Delivery Authority on incorporating the biodiversity requirements for the park into the overall design.

On the 16th of September six members of BSG attended a site visit to the Olympic Park to see at first hand the remarkable progress being made on the ground. The visit was led by Dr Peter Shepherd who has been the lead ecological consultant working in the LDA-Design/Hargreaves team. The project is making great progress and this was a good opportunity to experience at first hand the amazing scale and progress of the work.

Following the visit Peter Shepherd commented, “Progress on the park and the venues is remarkable and for the first time in two years I can see the actual park emerging that has until now just been designs on plans and a scale model. It is really very exciting“.

Dr Shepherd went on to add “The decision to draw back the banks of the River Lea to the edge of the venues in the North Park was clearly a very significant step in the development of a park design that works and to see this on the ground confirms this. It has opened up the park and created a sense of space and importantly has provided the opportunity to create significant new reedbeds, amphibian ponds and wet woodland which add significantly to the riparian habitats of the River Lea“.

Sian Mitchell, Principal Ecologist said, “I have listened to Shep talking about the park designs as they have evolved and have been aware of the detailed consideration that has gone into the designs by the team at LDA-Design/Hargreaves, but to actually see the park really brings home the scale and significance of this project and the impact it is going to make on the habitats in the River Lea valley”.

Alan Salkilld, Senior Ecologist commented, “The ambition of the project is impressive and the scale of planting such as the semi-mature hazels and willows with four tonne root balls is mind boggling“.

To see progress on the site you can visit the ODA website: London 2012

Categories: Biodiversity design, Mitigation