London sows meadows

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The UK's largest ever man–made wildflower meadows have been sown on the Olympic Park, ready to flower gold around the Olympic Stadium in July 2012.

After two years of trials and research, more than 10 football fields worth of nectar–rich wildflower have now been planted, helping to provide the colourful setting for the Games. London 2012 Organising Committee chair Seb Coe said: " After completing our successful series of London Prepares test events we are preparing the Olympic Park to host millions of spectators this summer. The wildflower meadows timed to flower around the Stadium in July are just one example of the painstakingly detailed and innovative work of the team of experts that have created the Olympic Park that will be enjoyed by spectators during the Games and for generations to come. " 'A ribbon of gold' The riverbank meadows have been especially designed to flower late by international wildflower expert Professor Nigel Dunnett from the University of Sheffield, and will bloom gold just in time for the Olympic Opening Ceremony on 27 July. Professor Nigel Dunnett said: " After years of preparation and two practice runs we have sown the final meadows that will run like a ribbon of gold around the Olympic Stadium. In just a few weeks visitors to the Olympic Park and TV viewers will see areas of flat mud transformed into waist–high wildflower meadows buzzing with bees and butterflies. " Colourful peak The majority of the planting of 4, 000 trees, 300, 000 wetland plants and more than 150, 000 perennial plants and bushes in the Olympic Park was completed in the autumn by the Olympic Delivery Authority. Throughout the winter and spring a dedicated team of specialist gardeners and horticulturists worked to ensure that the Park reaches its colourful peak this summer, wrapping trees to protect them from the cold and cutting back thousands of early–flowering plants. After the Games the Olympic Park meadows will gradually become self–sustaining and become a new park for people and wildlife for generations to come.

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