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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

Olympic parklands in bloom as spring comes to London

20th March 2012

Warmer, longer days and the absence of the large tourist crowds of the summer mean that spring is always a great time to book luxury accommodation in London.

But spring in the capital this year could be even better than usual thanks to some of the ongoing projects to mark the 2012 London Olympics.

Not only are there plenty of plays, exhibitions and other cultural activities taking place throughout the year to mark the Games, many parts of London are being transformed into beautiful open spaces in the run up to the Olympics.

One example is the London 2012 Garden, which stretches along the riverside for half-a-mile between the Aquatics Centre and Olympic Stadium and this week saw hundreds of golden daffodils begin to flower as the warmer weather arrived.

The garden forms part of the 250-hectare Olympic Park, which is Britain's largest new urban park for more than a century and has been created on land that has been cleaned and cleared of contamination, waste and aggressive species of weeds.

It includes more than 45 hectares of green space, including woodland and wildlife habitats, which will be extended even further after the Games.

Dennis Hone, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, said: "With the parklands that have been created starting to flower, it is hard to imagine that they have emerged from an industrial site that was not only contaminated, but almost impossible to access in parts because of overgrowth, weeds and fly-tipping."

The London 2012 Organising Committee also recently launched the Garden for the Games project, to encourage Londoners to create their own gardens ahead of the Olympics.

Seb Coe, chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee, said: "There is a spring in our step as we work to get the Olympic Park ready to host the greatest sporting event on earth.

"The colourful and vibrant park will celebrate the finest UK gardening talent which we hope will inspire the rest of the country's 26 million gardeners to Garden for the Games to show off their green-fingered skills."


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