Ikea opened a year ago this week

Ikea has apologised after a display in its east Greenwich store wrongly claimed that it had assisted in created the nearby Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, which has been a popular community feature for 18 years.

The display claimed the Swedish retailer played a role in establishing the park, a haven for wildlife next to the River Thames. However, the park opened its gates in 2002, 17 years before Ikea came to Greenwich a year ago this week.

When the store was given planning permission in 2014, its legal agreement with Greenwich Council stipulated that it would fund improvements worth £115,000, including a new classroom, but by then the park was already 12 years old.

The clumsily-worded display has now been taken down

853 understands that the volunteers behind the ecology park tried twice to get the store to withdraw its false claims without success. After this website contacted Ikea, the display was removed.

An Ikea spokesperson told 853: “We appreciate that the signage in-store may have created some confusion. Whilst we funded the building of a new classroom for the park, our ambition for this project was to invest in the future of the park, forming part of our plans to support the local community during the Ikea Greenwich opening.

“We have now removed the signage to be reviewed and apologise for any miscommunication.”

Despite being a traffic magnet, the store has traded heavily on its claim to be the “most sustainable” in the UK. Last year this website revealed it had tried to get out of a planning commitment to direct traffic away from the congested and dangerous Woolwich Road roundabout next to the store.

In December, 853 revealed that it had fallen just short of a target to have 35% of its customers arrive by public transport, bicycle, or on foot.

Last month, volunteers at the ecology park revealed plans for a new ecology centre at the park, which they hope will settle an argument over building a 12 or 13-storey tower block next to it.

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