Paralympic legacy honoured with dedicated orchard space in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
11:37 21 October 2014
An area of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be dedicated to the London 2012 Paralympic Games with plans to build an orchard, it has been unveiled today.
Located in the middle of the park and forming a link between its northern and southern hemispheres, the new spot will be named Mandeville Place after the birthplace of the Paralympic movement – Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
It is expected to open in Spring next year, with the idea to grow an orchard inspired by the use of apples during the London 2012 opening ceremony.
The area will be designed to recognise the values and people that made the London Paralympic Games widely considered to be the most successful in the history of the event.
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, board member of the London Legacy Development Corporation which manages the park, said: “It gives me great pleasure to be able to see [the Paralympic Games] being celebrated through the inclusion of a dedicated space in the park.
“I hope local people and tourists will enjoy picking the fruit and taking part in sports activities in the shadows of the trees.”
A brand new variety of apple is being created for the orchard by mixing pollen from different apple blossoms – only the third time this has happened in the capital in the past 50 years.
It has also been revealed that a national schools competition to find a name for the brand new variety of apples is now underway.
Children are encouraged to come up with a name that will reflect the legacy of the Paralympics and the winners will see one of the new apple trees grow in their school grounds.
Entries must be submitted by December 3 with the winners announced on December 10 after being chosen by a panel of experts.
Amber Alferoff of growers the Urban Orchard Project, said: “It is very rare for a brand new apple to be developed and we’re looking to create a deliciously sweet apple that will appeal to the whole family.
“We can’t wait to find out what name the new apple will have and to see it flourish.”
Residents from surrounding boroughs will be able to apply for up to 30 voluntary roles to maintain the orchard under the guidance of The Urban Orchard Project.