A ventilation and access shaft for the Elizabeth line at Canning Town has been covered in purple wildflowers, supplied by the same firm that laid out the wildflower meadows for the London 2012 Olympics.

Limmo Peninsula Wildflowers in May 2018

The concrete box which will offer access to the tunnels for maintenance, and if needed, emergencies, is being landscaped into a covered mound of soil. To make it rather more interesting, a load of wildflowers from Hampshire commuted to London for planting.

The wildflower meadow supplied by Wildflower Turf is now capping a maintenance and escape shaft for the Elizabeth line on the Limmo Peninsula.

Installing Wildflower Turf in April 2018

Working with landscaping partner Turney Landscapes, Wildflower Turf Ltd was commissioned by CSJV – the Costain Skanska Joint Venture responsible for the turning the former construction site into the permanent Elizabeth line access shaft – to provide a temporary landscape that is both aesthetically pleasing and ecologically-friendly.

Turney Landscapes installed 2,600m² of Wildflower Turf’s Roof Turf in March and April of this year, across and down the sloping 8-metre-high exit shaft. The purple blanket has somewhat faded now, but expect an annual flowering of purple each spring.

The Limmo peninsula was Crossrail’s primary worksite for their eastbound tunnel boring machines. Two shafts were dug, one to be filled in again later and one that will be the permanent access and ventilation shaft.


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  1. Jo W says:

    Beautiful! Let us hope that someone remembers that the wildflowers are there and that they won’t be razed to the ground by a member of the gardening staff who only knows about operating the mowing machines,but absolutely *** all about plants. This happened recently to our local park’s wildlife area,just as the plants were flowering or setting their seeds for next year. Aaaaargh!

  2. TomH says:

    @JO W Funnily enough the same was going though my mind, recalling a wildflower installation here in Bristol that was mown down (quite literally) by a workman in front of those who were enjoying because ‘no one told him not to cut the grass and no one was going to tell him not to cut the grass if they knew what was good for them”. Hopefully Canning Town staff will be much more enlightened.

  3. Donald Lyven says:

    Yes, this mowing regardless of what locals say seems to be a common problem; happened to us in Barnet over the years…

  4. Patrick Crawford says:

    Cover the countryside with wildflowers <3

  5. Steffen Frost says:

    Of course you would never see a wildflower meadow like that naturall, with that one species in blanket monopoly.

  6. Andrew Gwilt says:

    Looks fantastic and beautiful.

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