Golden bloom for Olympic Park thanks to University of Sheffield plant experts
1 September 2010
A golden meadow of wild flowers is blooming around the Olympic Stadium in a successful ‘dress rehearsal’ for London 2012 thanks to green fingered experts from the University of Sheffield.
The riverbank meadow of cornflowers, marigolds, Californian poppies and prairie flowers has been especially designed and sown to flower gold just in time for the Opening Ceremony in July 2012.
It is the first of more than ten football pitches’ worth of nectar-rich wild-flower meadows in the Olympic Park, which will provide a colourful setting for the Games and be havens for wildlife for years to come.
International wild-flower experts from the University of Sheffield have designed a range of late flowering annual and perennial meadows for the Olympic Park using a diverse mix of colourful plants. They will be sown later in the planting season and cut back to ensure they are in bloom throughout Games-time.
Nigel Dunnett from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield said: “The Olympic Park meadows have been carefully formulated to flower at their peak during the Games, producing exciting, vibrant sheets of uplifting colour, with high biodiversity value.
“To achieve this peak performance, with a beautiful blend of colours at exactly the right time is no mean feat and is based on many years of research and practical experience at the University of Sheffield. We are extremely encouraged and excited by the results from the sowings this year.”
Olympic Delivery Authority Chief Executive David Higgins said: “The wild flower meadows, wetlands, woods and lawns in the Olympic Park will provide a green and colourful setting in 2012 and a new great park for people and wildlife after the Games.
“With two years until the Games, the parklands are already taking shape and the site is going from brown to green with meadows blooming, hundreds of trees and thousands of wetland plants being planted. We are doing everything possible to ensure this is a great park for Games and legacy and a showcase for British park design.”
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