Olympic Triffids

By M@ Last edited 149 months ago
Olympic Triffids

The Olympic site may be suffering from a £100,000 weed problem. And it's nothing to do with the familiar cannabinoid odours wafting in from Roman Road on the westerly breeze.

An invasive plant species known as Japanese knotweed is apparently entrenched in the area, and it's going to take more than a Dimmock to shift it.

It's unbelievably strong. It can actually grow through concrete and through brick walls. I've actually seen pictures of it growing through tarmac and pavements.

That was Alistair 'actually' Driver, national conservation manager for the Environment Agency. He's concerned that the hardy plant is disrupting UK ecosystems and may cost over a billion pounds to bring under control. And the Stratford Marshes seem to be something of a stronghold. Unlike local businesses who get in the way, however, the weeds are unlikely to be tamed with a compulsory purchase order.

The knotweed joins a long list of 'stuff that needs clearing away before we can build the Olympics'. Other barriers include the resident gypsy populations, mountains of fly-tipped waste, possible nuclear contamination, and mysterious beasties in the river Lea.

Last Updated 14 August 2006