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Skanska wins Olympic Park parklands job

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has appointed Skanska to deliver the southern section of parklands in the Olympic Park including the London 2012 Garden.

The southern part of the Park will focus on retaining the Games spirit, with riverside gardens and areas for markets, events, cafes and bars in legacy. The landscape and public realm contract includes hard and soft landscape works, tree planting and the construction of the concourse which will link all the venues, entrances and parklands. The work, on track to start in the New Year, will also include lighting, irrigation and drainage and delivering the London 2012 Garden stretching for half a mile between the Aquatics Centre and Olympic Stadium and celebrating centuries of British passion for gardens and plants.

The contractor will also deliver the Great British Garden, which two amateur gardeners are helping to design after their competition entries won a public vote.  

ODA Chief Executive David Higgins said: ‘We are on track to create the green backdrop for the London 2012 Games that in legacy will become the UK’s largest new urban park in over a century. Trees are being planted, wetlands dug and cleaned soil formed into the hills, swales, meadows and lawns which will be planted for the new parklands.

“In the spring our world class team will start creating the gardens and festival areas in the south of the Olympic Park, where most people will enter the park during and after the Games.’

The northern area of the Park will use the latest green techniques to manage flood and rain water while providing quieter public space and habitats for hundreds of existing and rare species from kingfishers to otters. Bam Nuttall is already delivering the northern section of parklands and assembling a team of specialist subcontractors and suppliers.

The ODA is working with the Olympic Park Legacy Company to ensure the parklands fit into the Legacy Masterplan Framework - a spatial plan for the development of the Olympic Park site after the 2012 Games which will include the long-term management and maintenance of the parklands.  For more information about the plans visit www.legacynow.co.uk   

ODA Project Sponsor John Hopkins said: ‘This significant appointment keeps us on track to deliver the Olympic Park parklands. The London 2012 Gardens in particular will be a spectacular addition to London’s wealth of world-class gardens.’

LDA Design/Hargreaves Associates was selected to design the Olympic Park parklands in spring 2008 and detailed designs were published in November 2008.

Arup Landscape are the landscape engineers for the south of the Olympic Park.

Bam Nuttall has selected Frost Landcapes Construction Ltd to undertake the west soft landscape package in the North Park, which includes the installation of drainage, irrigation, completion of the earthworks, planting of the trees and shrubs, installation of footpaths and terraced seating areas. The remaining soft landscape package for the east side has been awarded to White Horse Contractors.

Hilliers Nurseries in Hampshire is supplying over 2000 semi-mature trees for the Olympic Park.

Salix was appointed to supply over 300,000 wetland plants for the Olympic Park. The detailed design of the river planting was carried out by Atkins.

Land and Water Services have been appointed to create the wetlands in the west of the Northern section of the Olympic Park parklands. White Horse Contractors have been appointed to deliver wetlands in the eastern section, which includes the formation of the two wet woodlands and three frog ponds.

Four companies are currently competing to supply the 60,000 plants and 60,000 bulbs for the 2012 Gardens.

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