London 2012 Landscaping and Public Realm

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, London

White Horse Contractors were employed on the London Olympic Park from 2009 – 2011 carrying out 2 distinctively separate packages.

White Horse was appointed to undertake the restoration of a section of the River Lee, which runs through the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford and the subsequent construction of extensive wetland areas. The area was home to polluting industries such as petrol factories, and even a vast Victorian rubbish tip. Not that the area was ecologically "dead", 2,000 newts and hundreds of toads were relocated away from the future park before the first diggers moved in..

These extensive works created / involved:

  • Comprehensive decontamination of the site
  • Reinforcing existing river banks to make them suitable for pedestrian traffic
  • Three frog ponds
  • Numerous fish channels and other associated animal habitats
  • Planting of over 10,000m² of pre-grown aquatic plant stock
  • Construction of large cast in-situ concrete bridges/culverts, outlet headwalls and pipework
  • Two semi-mature wooded wetland areas

This project was one of the toughest contracts (mainly due to the high profile nature and immovable completion date) the company has ever taken on and pushed our planning and logistical skill to the maximum. With over 11,000 people working throughout the Olympic Park, it made for exceptionally difficult logistical conditions. To combat this we implemented a number of innovative solutions including importing considerable quantities of materials with the use of the railway, which allowed trains to deliver right into the Park.

The second contract that we have been involved with was a substantial landscape package which involved a number of elements including:

  • Substantial earth movinge
  • Shaping of complex shapes to create spectacular viewing banks and general amenity areas. This was achieved using cutting edge satellite guided technology
  • Growing and installation of 3800m² reinforced wild flower turf; importing something in the order of 700 trees and 36,500 herbaceous shrubs
  • Creation of access paths
  • Supply and installation of street furniture

These two contracts really showcase the type of in-house ability we have and prove we can manage a complex project in one of the most logistically difficult projects ever attempted in the UK.

White Horse Contractors were pleased to receive a joint BALI 2012 National Landscape Award for a soft landscaping construction over £1.5m, along with Frosts Landscape Construction Ltd, Gavin Jones Ltd and Willerby Landscapes Ltd.

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Fact file

Project: Olympic North Park East; Construction of landscape and public realm
Client: Olympic Delivery Authority
Tier 1 Project Manager: BAM Nuttall
Tier 2 Contractor: White Horse Contractors Limited
Contract Value:
Soft Landscaping: 4.92m
Wetlands: 1.4m

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