Olympic site ash order cancelled over dieback concerns

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) has cancelled an order for 100 ash trees for the Olympic site in east London because of fears that they might develop ash dieback.

LLDC park operations director Mark Camley, who is overseeing the transformation to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said: "We are going to monitor it very closely. We did have more ash ordered but decided not to take any going forward. It is not just ash, it is also horse chestnuts, planes and oaks."

He added: "We had 99 planted for the Olympics so ash was never a major species. We have swapped what we were going to plant for other native trees. We have taken advice from the Forestry Commission and National Trust. We monitor and inspect twice a year. We have found some Phytophthora on alder - that is common - but no other disease."

LLDC park project sponsor Phil Askew said: "Unfortunately, this country is currently being assaulted by pests and diseases."

Meanwhile, all of the perennial meadows in the north of the Olympic Park are staying, although additional planting will create a more "species-rich meadow".

In the south of the park, the annual meadows planted for the Olympic Games will be replaced by the South Plaza planting scheme.

See Landscape News, p16.


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