Van den Berk preparing to deliver 2,000 Olympic Village trees after winning tender

More than 2,000 of trees from Dutch grower Van den Berk are to be planted at the London 2012 Olympics athlete's village.

The plantings include oaks, a species that the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has withdrawn from other areas of the Olympic site because of of oak processionary moth fears. The new trees will add to the 2,000-plus grown by Hillier for the north and south of the site.

An ODA representative said: "After an open and competitive tender, Van den Berk was selected to supply more than 2,000 trees. It already had a large percentage of the required trees growing in its nurseries, helping meet the challenging delivery timetable."

Van den Berk said the contract showed it can supply projects that demand the highest standards - quality, varieties, logistics and financial health. It planted 1,700 trees in air pot containers this spring to be prepared for summer supply.

It will start supplying trees for the wetlands in November to be completed by March next year. The remaining trees will be supplied from spring 2011 onwards and supply must be finished by the end of November 2011.

Some 2,400 semi mature trees will be supplied to the village, which is similar to the Olympic Park landscape in that it features a mix of urban and wet woodland areas with a variety of tree species to be planted to reflect this mix.

In the wet woodland areas, native species including alder, ash, birch, field maple, hornbeam, and poplar will be planted, similar to other wet woodlands being constructed in the wider Olympic Park.

In the more urban areas closer to the new village buildings, native species including Scots pine and limes will be used with more ornamental species such as tulip trees, Liquidambar and Norway maples. The trees will be delivered later this year and planting will be completed by the end of the year.

An ODA representative said: "We are planting hundreds of oak trees on the Olympic Park with more planned for after the games. On the advice of experts, we are planting the bigger oak trees, which can attract a harmful pest, after the games to protect the health of athletes and spectators.

"We are committed to having some English Oaks within the Olympic Village landscape, which will be located to minimise any potential issues. Around 18 oak trees will be planted in the wetlands area of the village, away from the main public thoroughfares, and there will be regular inspections carried out."

A Forestry Commission representative explained: "We have contained oak processionary moth to west London since it was discovered there in 2006 and we continue to try to eradicate it from Britain. But we cannot guarantee that it will not spread to other areas by 2012, so we advised the ODA not to plant oak trees ahead of the games."

HTA amenity group chair and Boningale Nurseries chairman Tim Edwards said: "Van den Berk is an extremely good nursery and it was very good that Hillier got as much as it did."


London mayor Boris Johnson is to take control of running and maintaining the Olympic Park. The Olympic Park Legacy Company said an act of Parliament due in January will change it into a Mayoral Development Corporation, ruled by Johnson.

"The act will influence our role and will mean that we report to the mayor," said a representative. "It's part of the Government's plans to give better value for money from the public purse. But we will always be the driving force for the legacy of the park."

The Government confirmed the plans last week. Bob Neill, under secretary of state for communities and local government, said the Decentralisation & Localism Bill would propose the creation of the Mayoral Development Corporation.


London's Olympic Park will reopen as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the flame of the games has burnt out.

The Queen approved of the name for the 200ha showcase park from 2013, when the "legacy" of the sporting jamboree comes into play. An Olympic Park Legacy Company spokeswoman said: "It will not be a Royal Park and we will have responsibility for running and maintaining it after the games."

She added that the company was working on long-term plans for estate management and had not yet worked out the likely cost and staff numbers involved. But combining the "two powerful associations" of royalty and the Olympics would give huge momentum for the image and visitor pulling power of the park.

"The combined Olympic and Royal heritage emphasises quality, history and innovation," she said. "It will appeal to international visitors and UK nationals." New homes, schools and health centres will form the urban doorstep of Europe's biggest new metropolitan park.

The representative added: "This name reflects a tangible legacy from the 2012 Games and our plans for making the park one of Europe's premier visitor destinations."

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "The Queen supports London 2012 and with the event taking place in her Diamond Jubilee year, it is fitting the park bears her name."

London mayor Boris Johnson added: "Not since Georgian England has London seen such an ambitious and comprehensive vision for a new district. Our plans seek to combine the classical best of this city with the greatest benefits of modern urban living."

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