Winter has arrived in Greenwich Park and the views from the General Wolfe Statue on frosty and clear mornings reveal the restoration work on Queen's Field is moving at pace. As we work towards returning the park to its previous condition, it is remarkable to look back over the last year and realise what has been achieved.
Over 400,000 spectators were welcomed to Greenwich Park during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and billions saw the Equestrian and Modern Pentathlon competitions as this celebrated venue was broadcast live across the globe. Team GB won six medals and Paralympics GB won 11 in Greenwich Park - it's a summer that I'll never forget.
Greenwich Park was described by the world's media as a fantastic venue that provided breathtaking views throughout the route of the Equestrian Cross Country Course. Today, visitors to the park can see that over 75 per cent of the park has been restored to its former glory and is open for the public to enjoy.
The team here worked hard to ensure that plans for these events were carefully designed to protect the park and minimise the impact of these events on park visitors. In August much of the park reopened to the public and work to restore the section that hosted the Cross Country event began.
The London Organising Committee for the Games (LOCOG) has been handing back sections of the park in stages and The Royal Parks team of experts has been restoring these areas as soon as it's safe to do so. In October three quarters of the park had been fully reinstated and by the end of November the last remaining venue structures were removed by LOCOG.
The turfing of Queen's Field, which was home to the Equestrian Arena and the athletes training area, began in November. Now it is completely cleared, the team here can finish the job and weather permitting, we hope to have completed the majority of this work by the New Year. In 2013, when the spring growing season begins, we can start the final stage of this restoration work - seeding any remaining areas of the park. By the end of spring 2013 it will be difficult to tell that this World Heritage Site was a host venue for these fantastic Olympic and Paralympic events.
For the latest news on our progress please visit our website.