Mayor plants ‘Paralympic inspired tree’ in new Olympic Park orchard

26 May 2015

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today planted the final tree in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s brand new orchard, made up of 55 new fruit trees including one for each of the gold medal winners at the London 2012 Paralympic games.

The Mayor was joined by Paralympic gold medallist Jessica-Jane Applegate, who has a Norfolk Beefing apple tree planted in her honour. The orchard will officially open to the public tomorrow with free family activities, as part of the Mayor’s London Tree Week celebrations.

The orchard is named Mandeville place, after Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement. It has been designed in partnership with the Urban Orchard Project to recognise the values and people that made the 2012 Paralympic Games a huge success.

It will include a unique apple tree chosen especially for the park called ‘Paradice Gold’, a name chosen through a national schools competition. It will join the 13,400 trees already planted across Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that has 15 acres of woods, hedgerow and wildlife habitat. Additional fruit trees that have been planted in honour of Paralympic heroes include:

- Merton Pride pear, in honour of six times gold medallist David Weir CBE,

- Merryweather Damson plum tree for 2012 gold medallist Richard Whitehead CBE,

- Storey’s Seedling apple tree in honour of 11-time gold medallist Dame Sarah Storey DBE,

- Catshead cooking apple celebrating four times Paralympic champion swimmer Ellie Simmonds OBE.

Now in its third year, London Tree Week was set up by the mayor to celebrate trees in the capital and to encourage people to care for their local greenery.This is part of the Mayor’s wider plans to make London a greener city, including delivering 100 Pocket Parks and planting 20,000 Street trees on pavements and along highways to clean the air, and increase green space. The Mayor leads the RE:LEAF partnership of organizations which has contributed to the planting of more than 100,000 trees across the city.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “The trees in this new orchard, which will soon be laden with fruit, encapsulate the spirit of the greatest Paralympic Games ever. I for one can’t wait to savour the first Olympic Park apple and Mandeville Place is a most welcome addition to the thousands of trees and acres of green open space that make up this fantastic park. I hope as many people as possible get to enjoy London Tree Week events and celebrate one of the leafiest and greenest cities in Europe.”

The idea for Mandeville Place was developed by Churchman Landscape Architects and Studio Weave who worked with local disability groups and have taken inspiration from the use of the apple in the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening ceremony. The Orchard is surrounded by a pavilion that incorporates elements from the Paralympic Wall, which was originally located in the Athletes Village for people to write their messages of support.

Paralympic gold medallist, Jessica-Jane Applegate said: “I’m so excited to be back at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and help open Mandeville Place. It will be a lovely spot to sit and relax during the summer, and to remind us of the incredible Paralympic Games. I’m especially looking forward to biting into a Paradice Gold apple- a new variety of apple grown especially for the Orchard.”

The opening of Mandeville Place marks an exciting summer of events on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This includes National Paralympic Day, featuring the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival, which takes place on Sunday 26 July. In addition to ticketed events for National Paralympic Day bringing top-flight sporting action from Paralympic medallists, there will be plenty of free activities to enjoy. This includes the Liberty Festival bringing another exciting line-up of Deaf and disabled artists, musicians and performers. There will also be the chance to meet Paralympic heroes and try out disability sports.

There are many free events taking place over London Tree Week which include guided tree walks in Greenwich and Richmond Parks, tree history events at the National Gallery. A City Hall exhibition will include images of trees around London’s Tube stations which can be found on a free Tree-Routes app. Must-see sights include a Swamp Cypress near St Paul’s to a rare wild Black Poplar in Angel. The Mayor is also encouraging Londoners to get out and explore the capital’s great trees and woodlands and to share photos using Twitter and Instagram #LondonTreeWeek.

Notes to editors

· Mandeville Place will officially open to the public on Wednesday 27th May where hundreds of children will be welcomed to the park to join a wassail party, a traditional ceremony to bring luck and fruitfulness to the new orchard as it starts to grow. Visitors will also be able to take part in free activities such as face-painting, story-telling, apple-bobbing, roaming theatre performances and ‘have a go’ sports like boccia and wheelchair basketball.

  • Download the Tree-Routes app to help you find important trees of London using the capital’s famous Tube and Overground map. App available here:
  • London Tree Week is part of the RE:LEAF partnership’s work to protect and increase the number of trees in London. RE:LEAF is a partnership campaign led by the Mayor to protect the capital's trees and encourage individual Londoners, businesses and organisations to plant more trees. The Mayor also wants to protect London's woodlands and associated wildlife and make London a greener, more attractive city.


For more information on London Tree Week, visit:


About Mandeville Place

Following the naming of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park a commitment was made by the London Legacy Development Corporation, the International Paralympic Committee and the British Paralympic Association to ensure that the huge impact of the London 2012 Paralympic Games was not forgotten. Paradice Gold was named through a national schools competition and combines ‘para’ with DICE – representing the Paralympic values of Determination, Inspiration, Courage and Equality.

About Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

London’s newest visitor destination, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is a place unlike any other. Visitors to the Park are able to enjoy beautiful parklands and waterways, world-famous sporting venues, arts and events and spectacular views from the ArcelorMittal Orbit. As a new heart for east London, the Park will also provide new homes, jobs and a cultural and education quarter. For more information visit, follow us on Twitter @noordinarypark and like us on Facebook

List of trees planted in honour of the Paralympics GB gold medal winners:




Aled Davis

Birth Mawr (dessert apple)

Anthony Kappes

Newton Wonder (cooking apple)

Barney Storey

Lord Derby (cooking and eating apple)

Craig MacLean

Bloody Ploughman (cooking and eating apple)

Danielle Brown

Ribston Pippin (dessert apple)

David Smith

Scotch Bridget (cooking apple)

David Stone

Ribston Pippin (dessert apple)

David Weir

Merton Pride (pear tree)

Deborah Criddle

Somerset Redstreak (cider apple)

Ellie Simmonds

Catshead (cooking apple)

Hannah Cockcroft

Ribston Pippin (dessert apple)

Heather Fredericksen

Lord Derby (cooking and eating apple)

Helen Lucas

Onward (pear tree)

James Roe

Red Fallstaff (sweet apple)

Jessica-Jane Applegate

Norfolk Beefing (cooking apple)

Jonathan Fox

Devonshire Quarrenden (eating apple)

Jonathan Peacock

Cambridge Gage (plum tree)

Josef Craig

Mrs Lakes Seedling (apple tree)

Josie Pearson

Ashmeads Kernel (eating apple)

Lee Pearson

Dabinett (cider apple)

Lily van den Broeke

Merton Pride (pear tree)

Mark Colbourne

Monmouth Beauty (eating apple)

Michael David Bushell

Shropshire Prune (plum tree)

Naomi Riches

Core Blimey (dessert apple)

Natasha Baker

London Pearmain (dessert apple)

Neil Fachie

Arbroath Oslin (apple tree)

Oliver Hynd

Merryweather Damson (plum tree)

Pamela Lillian Relph

Morello (cherry tree)

Richard Whitehead

Merryweather Damson (plum tree)

Sarah Storey

Storey’s Seedling (apple tree)

Sophie Wells

Peasgood’s Nonsuch (cooking apple)

Sophie Christianson

Williams Bon Chretien (pear tree)