The sterile pleasure garden
I visited the recently opened part of the Olympic Park on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year to have a look around. It took a while to take it all in. My most surprising discovery was the almost complete absence of any visible wild life. Apart from pigeons in transit across the space I saw only one wild bird in the three hours I was there. It was probably some kind of Reed Warbler. Hardly surprising given the sheer volume of reeds planted alongside the river. There were small numbers of Damsel Flies, again not surprising given their mobility along the river.
What shocked me though was being able to clearly see the bottom of the river from the bridges on an almost cloudless day and realising that there were no living plants growing from the bed itself. It looked lifeless compared to what you can see from Ruckholt Road Bridge just upstream outside the Park.
As local nature watchers had predicted before the Olympics the very wide pedestrian bridges would create deep-shade deadzones underneath them. Information which the landscape garden contractors ignored.
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Thu, 08/08/2013 - 12:59.