Biodiversity in action

02 Sep 2021
Legacies for Cities

The green space in and around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the largest urban park created in the UK in a century. The successful application of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s Biodiversity Action Plan resulted in the creation of 45 hectares of richly biodiverse, attractive, green and blue habitat.

© Leon Neal / Getty Images | Residential apartment blocks are seen in the distance, beyond the ponds and woodlands in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

These environs perform functions that are vital to the physical and mental health and well-being of Londoners by providing places to reconnect with nature, appreciate moments of quiet, and take a break from the hustle of London life.

The open space has enabled greater engagement of local communities with the biodiversity in the park. Volunteer conservation days have been delivered alongside a series of educational events for local schools, including wild-flower surveys and the construction of two insect hotels (now located in the Great British Garden).

The area is one of the top three bird migration routes in south-east England, offering birds sanctuary during their long journeys. Buildings also included special bricks designed for a specific bird species so that they can rest and breed.

The Park is a haven for rare species, both flora and fauna. Six “schedule one” birds have been recorded on the Park; schedule one birds are among the most protected in the UK Those species include kingfisher, black redstart, Cetti's warbler, fieldfare, redwing and peregrine falcon. In addition, over 1,100 invertebrate species have been recorded, including 91 with a significant conservation, which classifies them as nationally scarce.

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