Partners hand over Olympic park

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park transformation was 'more intense than planting for the Olympics'.

Frosts Landscape Construction and Willerby Landscapes were due to hand over to maintenance contractor The Landscape Group this week (4 April) after completing post-2012 work at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

There has been a flurry of activity with work going on right up to the wire after the wet and windy weather conditions delayed planting earlier this year.

The South Park is due to open tomorrow (5 April), joining the North Park, which opened in August. Willerby Landscapes has been working on the South Plaza and Frosts on the rest of South Park. The Landscape Group holds the 10-year grounds maintenance contract for the whole park.

Willerby Landscapes transformed the London 2012 Olympics concourse and vendor area into a new public space featuring a 12m-wide tree-lined promenade that opens up to a series of "outdoor rooms" separated by tall grasses. Here visitors will find a classic carousel, an amphitheatre and play areas including a sand pit, slide, climbing wall and wooden climbing frame.

The design includes planting and horticulture by Piet Oudolf and a 14,000sq m lawn. Willerby Landscapes also built a water labyrinth using a linear line of vertical jets that create temporary water-walled spaces.

Director at supplier Hillier Nurseries Jim Hillier said last week: "The majority of the park is planted. Frosts has finished but Willerbys has a bit more in its sector so has been given extra time because of the elements. The transformation has been more intense than planting for the Olympics because we've planted as many trees in a shorter space of time."

Hillier said public events at the park in summer 2013 delayed work, which was then concentrated between September and now, with the last deliveries going in within the last fortnight. The overall value of the tree contract was around £1m.

Bad weather slowed work in January and February, with health and safety concerns hampering planting. After that, he said Hillier had been "delivering six weeks of tree orders in two weeks".

Frosts director Aidan Lane said there were also delays on the South Park job because of the weather but contractors had got back on track.

Further work - New deals and jobs finished

Willerby Landscapes has signed a contract with the London Legacy Development Corporation on a new project to link the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park stadium and the iCity. Work is about to start on the Canal Park, which runs the length of the River Lee Navigational Canal.

Willerby has also completed a £100,000-plus contract for herbaceous perennials in the Piet Oudolf-designed parkland at the Olympic site and has finished planting more than 100 beech for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in a deal that is worth up to £75,000.

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