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The sterile pleasure garden

A view across the Olympic ParkA view across the Olympic ParkI visited the recently opened part of the Olympic Park on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year to have a look around. It took a while to take it all in. My most surprising discovery was the almost complete absence of any visible wild life. Apart from pigeons in transit across the space I saw only one wild bird in the three hours I was there. It was probably some kind of Reed Warbler. Hardly surprising given the sheer volume of reeds planted alongside the river. There were small numbers of Damsel Flies, again not surprising given their mobility along the river.

River Lea bedRiver Lea bedWhat shocked me though was being able to clearly see the bottom of the river from the bridges on an almost cloudless day and realising that there were no living plants growing from the bed itself. It looked lifeless compared to what you can see from Ruckholt Road Bridge just upstream outside the Park.

Mowing in a heatwaveMowing in a heatwaveI was also surprised to see a gardener mowing grass already parched in a temperature of over 30degC

Dead turf under a bridgeDead turf under a bridgeAs local nature watchers had predicted before the Olympics the very wide pedestrian bridges would create deep-shade deadzones underneath them. Information which the landscape garden contractors ignored.

 Wild plant weird zone near the children's playground Wild plant weird zone near the children's playground

Inadequate cheap drainage solution after a delugeInadequate cheap drainage solution after a deluge

StratfieldStratfield. The park comes across as a vast pedestrian zone made as a transit area for spectators of large scale events which exists next to another industrialised retail zone which I call Stratfield

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