Green Spaces and Wild Places Discovery Day 2021 held at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Download images of Discovery Day 2021 HERE. 

More than 200 London apprentices and trainees attended Discovery Day 2021 Green Spaces and Wild Places event held at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 

The London Legacy Development Corporation and The Royal Parks Guild in partnership with The Tree Council hosted the free event at London Stadium and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park so that horticultural apprentices and trainees could spend the day learning about career paths in horticulture and environmental management. 

The apprentices and trainees from across the UK including the local boroughs of Newham, Hackney, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets, had the opportunity to hear from leading experts in the fields of horticulture, landscape design and facilities management and Mike Fitt OBE Chairman of the Royal Parks Guild, who led the day. 

The delegates were given guided tours of the Park where they learned how an industrial part of London was transformed for the London 2012 Games and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and how it is managed today, including its maintenance, horticultural excellence, sports and play provision and wildlife conservation. 

Ruth Lin Wong Holmes, Vice-Chair of The Royal Parks Guild and Design Principal from the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: 

“It was great to have horticultural trainees and apprentices on the Park and to show them some of the best examples of sustainability, environmental and biodiversity management being practised here. Discovery Day is a great way for people developing their careers to hear from the leading experts in their field and to inspire them about the opportunities that lie ahead in their chosen profession. We were also delighted that school children were able to join us for the day and learn more about the environment.” 

The Tree Council supported this Discovery Day as a key sponsor, with funding from its Close the Gap hedgerow planting and restoration programme. Close the Gap is funded by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency. 

Sara Lom, CEO of The Tree Council said: 

“We are delighted to have been part of this wonderful Discovery Day with so many enthusiastic apprentices and trainees eager to learn and make a difference. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was the perfect venue to explore how we can work together for the love of trees and the future of our planet. We look forward to the brightest of futures for these young people as they continue to build their knowledge and skills in the tree and greenspace sector.” 

Niyah McNeish-Banks, aged13 , from Chobham Academy school in Newham, said: 

“Today has been the most intriguing day of my life. I learnt about horticulture and the importance of our environment and nature. I was able to learn more about nature itself and how to nourishes everything around us. The Discovery Day has been really interesting and I would love to learn more about landscaping and maybe become a landscaper as a career in the future!” 

Sapna Raj, aged 13, from Chobham Academy school in Newham, said: 

“Today has been amazing. A really fun day. We’ve learned so much about the importance of nature and the environment and how we need to look after the green spaces around where we live to survive, not just for us but for future generations.”


Notes to Editors:

 About Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 

This event is a joint initiative between the Royal Parks Guild and the London Legacy Development Corporation in partnership with The Tree Council and its Close the Gap* national hedgerow planting and restoration programme. 

Promoting biodiversity and conservation in urban spaces has been a key part of the transformation of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and its surrounding neighbourhoods into a smart, sustainable district. Since the Games the Park has become home to wide array of wildlife, with green and blue infrastructure providing links for nature through the park and into adjacent areas.  Bat conservation has been a focus for the Park, with 150 bat boxes providing habitat for the UK’s smallest bat – common pipistrelle – and also the UK’s largest bat – the noctule. 

The London Legacy Development Corporation has been working closely with UK and international partners to develop Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as The Smart Park, using leading edge technology to promote its sustainability objectives.  This includes provision of free Wi-Fi for visitors across all 560 acres of the Park, making it the largest public Wi-Fi network of its kind in the world, implementing energy efficiency innovations in Park venues, creating new approaches to sensing and communicating data, and providing urban test bed space for the development of new technology – such as connected and autonomous vehicles. 

About The Royal Parks Guild

The Royal Parks Guild exists support the Royal Parks of London who make sure London’s eight historic royal parks will always be there to enrich the lives of local residents and visitors to London. 

The membership of the Guild promotes the qualities of the parks, including horticultural excellence and historical significance, whilst offering practical and expert support where appropriate. Guild partners with other organisation to run Discovery Days for trainees and apprentices to meet industry experts and help them progress in their horticultural careers. 

About The Tree Council

The Tree Council is a national charity and membership organisation which brings everyone together with a shared mission to care for trees and our planet’s future. We inspire and empower organisations, government, communities and individuals with the knowledge and tools to create positive, lasting change at a national and local level. We are helped in our work by thousands of volunteer Tree Wardens and a growing force of Young Tree Champions. For more information about our work, visit


Chobham Academy School children