Going for gold at the London 2012 Olympics
The Olympic Park consisted of over 250 acres of parkland and soft landscaping which was created from land covering the East London communities of Bow, Stratford and Leyton. Due to its historic use and the park landscape design, there was little suitable or reusable topsoil and subsoil on site. In addition; the planting scheme and site topography called for a range of different planting zones requiring several soil types to support the plants and habitats required.
Over the two years leading up to the Olympic Games, Mayer Environmental worked closely with the main landscape contractors on the different zones across the Olympic Park. Billed as the ‘First Sustainable Olympics’, areas of the park used soils manufactured from green waste compost and mineral fractions admixed to meet set specifications. The reuse of composted plant material to create a soil, rather than ‘as dug natural topsoil’ helped to fulfil the sustainably objectives.
Our role was to sample and arrange analysis of these soils from their source, and to provide confirmation sampling once they had finally been placed within the park. We then reported our finding to confirm the soils met the required specification as a growth media. Furthermore; we also confirmed the soils free from significant contaminants. So ensuring that they would not impact upon the health of visitors and spectators, or the water quality of the River Lea as it flowed through the centre of the Park.
In addition to over 300,000 wetland plants, landscapers also planted more than 4,000 trees and 130, 000 other plants and bulbs. Every planting scheme requiring its own soil type.
The Mayer solution
We sampled and organized the testing of the imported topsoil and subsoil material on a rotation based upon the total volumes required. Once the data was collated we provided recommendations to the landscapers who were sourcing the soils for import. Recommendations ranged from confirmation that the soils were within specification, through to suggested changes to the blending or adjusting the mixing specification to meet the requirement.
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For the 15 different soil types collected from 14 different locations (including the Olympic Park), we checked ~ 20,400 individual determinants on ~ 300 soils, against the specifications to confirm their suitability for use.
This involvement has continued as Mayer Environmental are now helping the Olympic Legacy development work.
Everyone at Mayer was proud to contribute to the development of the Olympic Park, and to ensure the facility will be enjoyed by future generations. Named as the ‘First Sustainable Olympics’, Mayer’s environmental ethos went hand in hand with the mission of the games.
During the games, all of our consultants involved in the project visited the park to see the finished landscape in use and to soak up and enjoy the Olympic atmosphere.