Pollution-busting trees from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park given new home

Pollution-busting London Plane trees from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park have been carefully moved to a new home in the growing Barking Riverside development, allowing them to continue their vital work in keeping the capital’s air clean.

Six trees, which were planted in the park in 2013 and are around fifteen years old, have been removed from their previous location in the Park as part of construction work on UCL’s new campus, UCL East. Instead of felling the trees, Vinci Construction UK carefully lifted the London Plane trees along with their roots. London Plane trees are known for their ability to trap air pollution in their bark, removing harmful particles from the atmosphere and helping to clean up the capital’s air. The London Plane can grow to 35m and live for several hundred years and there are hundreds of other Planes amongst the 6,000 trees that have been planted on the Park.

After being lifted, the trees were carefully moved to their new home in the growing Barking Riverside development, which is creating 10,800 new homes for London. The trees will be used to improve the green spaces in the neighbourhood and will help improve local air quality for years to come.

Mark Camley, Executive Director of Park Operations and Venues at the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: 

“We’ve worked closely with our partners to make sure that new development is as sustainable as possible. I’m thrilled that we’ve found such a valuable new home for these London Plane trees, showing our continued commitment to making the 2012 Games the most sustainable ever.”

David Watkinson, Barking Riverside Limited’s Planning, Design and Communications Director said:

“We’re pleased to be working in partnership with the London Legacy Development Corporation to rehome these mature London Plane trees at Barking Riverside. As one of the UK’s largest and most important new housing projects, with a truly unique riverside-location and remarkably diverse ecological landscape, we are committed to helping cultivate London’s green space – moving trees from the Olympic Park to Barking Riverside will help us do just that.”

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was recently recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as one of the very best green spaces in the world. 

The Park was among a record-breaking 1,970 UK parks to receive a prestigious Green Flag Award, which is a sign that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.