London

Soil removed 'for safety' at Olympic equestrian arena

Dressage competition as part of Olympic equestrian test event in Greenwich Park
Image caption Stone or steel plates will be placed under the venue

Rainfall during April and early May has forced Olympic organisers to strip 15cm of waterlogged soil from the equestrian arena in south-east London.

The horse-riding tournament during this summer's Games is due to be held in Queen's Field, Greenwich.

But consistent rain has meant the soil beneath the grandstand is not firm enough.

After being removed, either stone or steel is due to be laid instead.

Games organisers Locog said the work was necessary due to "one of the wettest Aprils for more than 100 years".

They said the digging had been approved by Greenwich Council and English Heritage.

A poster placed around Greenwich said the amendments were needed "to ensure the safety of spectator stands".

An archaeologist from the Museum of London will be present, as the site covers historic allotments.

Up to 26,000 spectators are expected once the event gets under way.

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