My trip to the Olympics. Well, the Olympics stand…

So I popped along to the Olympics consultation in Greenwich Park, and was fairly reassured by what I heard. The main thrust of what the 2012 organisers want to do, as I saw it…

– A part of the park (the flat area at the foot of the hill) will be closed for several months for construction of a 20,000-capacity stadium. But the whole park will have to be closed from two weeks before the Olympics for it to be converted into the cross-country course.

– No trees will be cut down, they say, but some low-hanging branches will have to be cut down.

– The current course involves a route through the flower garden, because the duck pond is proposed as a water feature. This may be changed, because people are worried about the flower garden, with the boating lake replacing it as a water feature instead.

So, here’s what I reckon this all comes down to. Is losing Greenwich Park for six weeks or so a price worth paying for us to be hosting a major Olympic event? And if we decide it is, then the organisers must be held to their every word about restoring the park to its previous glory.

Like I said before, this debate isn’t helped by the extreme viewpoints involved – the Evening Standard misery corps on one side, Greenwich Council on the other. LOCOG had a press day on Friday and showed the local freesheets around, but they’ll need to get their act together if they’re to overcome a tide of local scepticism.

And it dawned on me earlier that councillors from all three main parties represent wards which adjoin or include Greenwich Park (Tories and Labour in Blackheath Westcombe, Labour in Greenwich West and Peninsula, and Lib Dems in Lewisham’s Blackheath ward). I don’t think we’ve heard a peep out of them, which is sad.

Brockley Central has a good post on this, Save Greenwich Park is unimpressed.


  1. Obviously it’ll be a disaster and the entire park will be scarred for generations to come.

    Or a couple of flower beds will need to be replanted, nothing worse, and the whole event will be a triumph.

    I suspect nearer the latter than the former, but expect unbridled pessimistic doom-mongering for the next four years.

  2. It’ll be fine, but Gilligan has got to have an excuse to make things up in the Standard.

    Hyde Park seems to recover extermely well from hundreds and thousands of people in it for concerts, plus haven’t people forgotten what Greenwich Park was actually built for?

  3. Thanks for the link. One of things that the LOCOG guys mentioned is that a lot of people who came in to complain thought it was going to be like the Grand National, with dozens of horses running side by side. The event’s a time trial, so it’s basically a single file route like a bridal path that needs to be built.

  4. I have been concerned about this from the beginning, but have to admit that the recent information makes me feel more comfortable.
    The comment from Rothko says it all for me.

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