The Legacy of the Games
The key to the succesful completion to the Olympic Park project was to ensure that key dates were met and, if required, temporary measures taken to protect programme critical activities such as the provision of temporary irrigation or out of sequence working in the installation of pre-cast units to release areas for planting.
Combining Specialists To Deliver
During the construction phase too, close liaison with the specialist nursery engaged to deliver the complex plant list for the project was vital. Regular off site inspections were performed with the client to monitor the quality of both the plant stock and the nursery husbandry.
Where substitutions were required, the nursery supplier and ourselves researched and offered suitable alternatives to the design team. A review of the soils was performed and changes to the specification agreed to offer optimal growing conditions for the plants in each garden. The works were installed in 2011 to allow a year’s establishment pre games in 2012. Willerby Landscapes gardens team maintained the stock during this period.
We also delivered a team of trained horticultural operatives early in the project so that the gardens were planted by the team that maintained them, ensuring a smooth transition into the maintenance period.
A key challenge was the establishment of the largest annual meadow ever installed in the UK. Trial sowings were undertaken in 2011 and the results were analysed by the client team, Sheffield University and Willerby Landscapes in close collaboration. The result was a change in specification and design; ensuring lessons learnt were fully utilised to offer best practice for 2012. This analysis resulted in a 10 day sowing window being established during which we planted the 25,000m2 of seed.
In order to meet the environmental challenges on the project, we worked closely with CLM to maximise usage of site-reclaimed material. This involved identifying areas on site where we amended the design to raise the location of the marker layer and thereby reuse existing site fill rather than importing new materials.