The Olympic Park includes a diversity of natural habitats including wetland, waterside and 'wasteland'. Its wildlife varies from planted trees to the uninvited 'weeds' of cultivation. This walk will take in both, as well as the birds, and possibly the bats, of the site, telling how they got there and the stories behind them; how they got their names, their folklore and the uses they have traditionally been put to. The Olympic site was proclaimed as the greenest ever and included both habitat creation and 'wild' planting in its design. In this two-hour walk, starting at Pudding Mill station and ending at the Timber Lodge, we will be looking at the wildlife that this new development has introduced, as well as some of the original inhabitants that managed to survive it. Sponsored by the Raphael Samuel History Centre to celebrate the launch of the Groundbreakers trail and guide to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (www.livingmaps.org/groundbreakers)
Bob Gilbert is an urban naturalist and environmental campaigner living close to the Olympic Park. As well as being an occasional broadcaster on BBC Radio 4, his books include The Green London Way and Ghost Trees. His new book, provisionally entitled The Missing Musk, will be published by Sceptre in early 2023.