Environment Agency hails completion of its work with the Olympic Delivery Authority to create new urban park

The work to complete many of the environmental improvements at the Olympic park and secure a green post-Games legacy is now complete, the Environment Agency has announced.

The Environment Agency said that over the last eight years it had worked with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and other partners to transform the area into the largest urban park created in Europe for more than 100 years.

Lord Chris Smith, Environment Agency chairman, said that work had seen the restoration of around 2.5 km2 of land, much of it polluted, which was the equivalent of 297 football pitches.

He said: “The Olympic park has shown the way in securing major environmental improvement at the same time as enabling large-scale construction and development.

“This is a great example of how development and sustainability can go hand in hand, and I hope the same approach can be taken for other large infrastructure projects in the future.”

Sir John Armitt, ODA chairman, said: “To have created Britain’s largest urban park for over a century out of a contaminated, industrial landscape has taken both determination and clever thinking.”

Olympic Park environmental improvement include:

  • 2.5 km2 of land was regenerated
  • 2 million tonnes of soil cleaned-up
  • 90% of demolition materials reused or recycled
  • 8 km of River Lea restored - river now healthier than at any time over the last 20 years
  • Planting of more than 300,000 wetland plants, 2,000 native trees
  • Flood prevention work reduced flood risk to around 4,000 properties in Canning Town and West Ham
  • 35 km of new cycleways and footpaths
  • 45 ha of species rich habitat including reed beds, wet woodland, grassland and ponds will have been created to attract birds, otters, amphibians and water voles
  • Water recycling plant that reduces water consumption by more than 40% and is used for irrigation and toilet flushing across the Park.
  • Energy Centre produces enough low carbon energy to power more than 10,000 homes

Source: Environment Agency