London Spy

London to boast biggest ever Olympic rings

London Spy

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The giant Olympic rings in Richmond Park seen from the air

London will welcome visitors to London 2012 with the biggest Olympic rings ever seen in the history of the Games.

The giant rings - approximately 300m across and 135m high - have been mown into the grass at Richmond Park in South West London, where they will be clearly visible by all planes landing at nearby Heathrow Airport.

The rings were mown into the grass of the park by the park's two shire horses, Jim and Murdoch, who are normally tasked with keeping the grass short by the sides of the roads which criss-cross the park.

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Richmond Park's shire horses Jim and Murdoch


Apparently, shire horses have been used to maintain the park for many years as they are particularly good at rolling bracken, and are unfazed during the winter when the ground is soft.

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Driving shire horses: Not the most stressful job in the world

"The Royal Parks came up with the idea to create huge Rings in the grass here at Richmond and LOCOG loved it," said Adam Curtis, assistant park manager. "I am so proud we've been able to achieve such an effective representation of the Olympic symbol.

"Jim and Murdoch can manoeuvre the mower around tight corners, and regularly cut the grass here at Richmond Park - they are our secret weapon because they maintain the Park without damaging the unique grassland and wildlife."

It's not the first time that Richmond Park has hit the headlines recently. Last summer a video of a man chasing his runaway dog at the park became a massive internet hit, and inspired millions to repeat the now famous words, "Fenton! Fenton...! Oh, Jesus Christ!" at every possible opportunity.

Thankfully, Fenton must have been kept well under control when the mowing was going on or the park might have ended up with Olympic squiggles rather than Olympic rings.

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