Olympics River Revitalised By White Horse Contractors.

[Extract from an interview by BBC radio]
Upstream from the 2012 Aquatics Centre specialists from Abingdon's White Horse Contractors Ltd, have been awarded the challenging contract of creating new habitats for fish in the River Lea which runs through the former wastelands that are now being transformed for the games. The work also involves the construction of large areas of public realm along with the creation of a wetlands area in the heart of the Olympic Park in Stratford, bringing to bear the skills and expertise used in constructing lakes and wetlands for the likes of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

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.

The badly-polluted river had already been scoured and cleaned before White Horse Contractors started work on site. The Oxfordshire workers have to remove soil as they work and take it to be cleaned at a "soil hospital" on the site. Plenty of vintage rubbish has emerged along the way.

White Horse Contractors have over 100 people working on the site and are importing something in the order of 3,500 trees and 36,500 herbaceous shrubs.

Olympic gold medalist Jonathan Edwards, who serves on the board of London 2012, said he marveled at the transformation of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

He said: "I can remember when this was just wasteland, and it doesn't matter how many times I come here, I always get goosebumps to see how this has changed."

"It's going to be beautifully landscaped, and this Oxfordshire company is part of it."

"For the athletes, being in a lovely environment will be part of the inspiration they need to do their best." He said landing an Olympic contract was a challenge for any company.
"This is very competitive indeed. You've got to train hard, and when it comes to the day when you're pitching, you've got to get it right. It's a bit like winning an Olympic medal."

Acting managing director Steve Greene said:
"It's a huge achievement for all the team. "We've been operating in the Oxfordshire area since 1957 and I think this is probably the pinnacle contract that we've secured".
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