Posted on Friday 10th March, 2017
Visitors to the Eden Project will have a chance to trek across an
aerial rope bridge, shelter from tropical rain and travel through clouds when a
thrilling new rainforest walkway opens this month (March 18).
The Weather Maker is the latest phase of the Rainforest Canopy
Walkway and will enable everyone to explore the world’s largest indoor
rainforest from the treetops.
Construction of the unique development in the Rainforest Biome is
nearing completion and will be officially opened on Saturday, March 18, with a
weekend of exciting activities including aerial acrobatics.
The Weather Maker will enable visitors to explore the canopy’s hidden
secrets, experience how rainforests affect weather and regulate the climate and
see why the conservation of the world’s rainforests is vital for all of our
It has been developed with academic support from the Met Office
and University of Exeter and includes:
- A wobbly Canopy Rope
Bridge stretching 23 metres across the canopy between two of the tallest
trees in the 50 metre-high Biome.
fully-accessible Cloud Bridge where visitors can travel through swirling
rainforest clouds and get a sense of how they reflect sunlight and help
cool the planet.
Rain Shack where visitors can shelter from a tropical rain storm and
discover how rainforests make rain.
Rainforest Research Camp displaying the latest research from scientists at
the University of Exeter who are working in the tropics exploring links
between climate change and rainforests.
- The Climate Platform which will
feature an installation that explores the relationships between the
atmosphere and the climate.
- Interactive exhibits include the
transpiration tree where visitors can pump water upwards to see how it
travels through the tree and into the sky to form clouds.
Dr Jo Elworthy, Eden’s Director of Interpretation, said: “Fifteen years after opening, our forest has grown
sufficiently to take our visitors into the treetops.
“From on high, visitors will be able
to explore the forest’s hidden secrets and discover how the world’s hot, steamy
rainforests help to regulate the climate.
“You’ll be able to cross our high-level canopy rope bridge, travel
through heat-reflecting clouds and shelter from tropical rain.
“We’ll also be showing you how you can get
involved and support projects or take actions to conserve the forest.
Conserving forests will help regulate our climate.”
Ted Feldpausch, Tropical Forest Ecologist at the University of Exeter, said:
“The Eden Project continues to innovate to educate and to bring
experiences from tropical rainforests to the public.
drought, to fire, to forest-climate interactions, the Eden Project communicates
important properties and issues facing rain forests in ways that are
engaging and sometimes downright torrential.”
Professor Richard Betts, Climate Scientist at the University of
Exeter and the Met Office, said: “Once again the team at Eden have done a
stunning job. Not only can visitors enjoy a unique perspective on the forest
from above, they can also learn about the vital scientific research into
rainforests and climate.”
The Weather Maker will be complemented by a
new planting scheme featuring colourful bromeliads – epiphytic plants which
grow on trees, stumps and branches in the tropics. Bromeliads
are especially adapted to thrive in the rainforest by anchoring themselves into
the canopy and catching rainwater in their rosette-shaped leaves, supporting
wildlife such as frogs, lizards and salamanders.
This latest stage of the Canopy Walkway has
been designed and delivered by Blue Forest, Tate Harmer Architects, John Grimes
Partnership, Ward Williams Associates, Ease and the Eden Project Rainforest
Canopy Walkway project team.
The Canopy Walkway highlights the importance
and wonder of rainforests. The first phase, completed in 2013, includes paths set in the cliff face
and stretching out through the rainforest. It introduces visitors to those
who live and work in the forest, from indigenous and tribal peoples to canopy
Near to the roof
of the Biome there is also an aerial Rainforest Lookout, opened in 2010, which
gives visitors a bird’s eye view of the tropical canopy.
The Canopy Walkway
has been supported by a number of educational and scientific foundations and
individuals, including the Garfield Weston Foundation, Bunzl plc,
The Kirby Laing Foundation and donors to the Eddie George Memorial Appeal as
well as donations from Eden Project Members and visitors.
The Rainforest Canopy Walkway Weather Maker
will be open to visitors from March 18 and all activities are included in the
price of admission.
See full details of ticket prices on www.edenproject.com. For a video of the Rain Shack, see https://youtu.be/gqeeC0z7wRY.