Blogs for May 2018

Eden Project donates plants to spruce up hospital waiting rooms

Posted on Tuesday 29th May, 2018

Eden Project donates plants to spruce up hospital waiting rooms

 Staff at Royal Cornwall Hospital’s Eden Ward have thanked the Eden Project for brightening up their waiting rooms with beautiful plants.

Eden has a special relationship with the women’s ward at Treliske since patients and staff decided to rename it after the project in 2015.

Eden has donated pictures to display in the ward and commissioned an artist to create a mural inspired by the Rainforest Biome for the day room.

At Christmas 2016 and 2017 Eden sent Father Christmas and his elves to deliver gifts to patients and staff at Eden Ward.

Now Eden horticulturists Emma Gunn and Riyah Snow along with Chief Executive Gordon Seabright have delivered an array of plants to decorate two of the ward’s waiting rooms which are often used by patients awaiting surgery.

The rooms are now decorated with tropical foliage such as emerald palms, (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) areca palms (Dypsis lutescens) and luscious succulents such as Crassula.

Gordon said: “There is plenty of evidence that contact with plants speeds patients’ recovery.

“We are proud of our relationship with Eden Ward and we wanted to bring in some beautiful plants from Eden’s Biomes to brighten up the hospital for the staff and patients.”

Eden Ward Sister Tash Trewhela said: “A lot of our patients who come to the ward are going in for quite complicated surgery and it’s reassuring for them to see all these lovely plants and that the ward is well cared for.

“It’s all part of the patient’s journey and the plants have made the waiting rooms much more comfortable and homely. We are having lots of lovely comments about the plants.”

For more information on the Eden Project go to


Flamingos flock to Paradise Park in Hayle

Posted on Tuesday 22nd May, 2018

Flamingos flock to Paradise Park in Hayle

Staff at Paradise Park in Hayle are tickled pink with the arrival of 5 new flamingos to join their flock.

Curator David Woolcock comments: “We are delighted with how quickly our new Caribbean Flamingos from Slimbridge have settled in. These new arrivals mean we now have 6 pairs. With the bigger flock size, this should mean we are in a stronger position to achieve breeding success in the future.

Our flamingos build their nests in the shallow muddy area, to the right of the lower pond. If you see just one egg then this will be a dummy made of wood to encourage them into the area.”

Flamingos are quite unmistakable, due to their remarkably long legs and neck, and distinctive pink plumage. Their legs let them wade in deep water, and they filter their food of algae and shrimp out of the mud. These are what give them their pink colouring.

Their necks have 17 cervical vertebrae, compared to 25 in swans, but each one is elongated giving the neck a stepped appearance. Flamingos form strong pair bonds, and just one egg is laid with both male and female feeding the chick on a special ‘crop milk’. They are long lived birds that can reach the age of 40, and able to breed from age 6.



Chilean tree expert in awe of Eden’s thriving monkey puzzle forest

Posted on Tuesday 15th May, 2018

Chilean tree expert in awe of Eden’s thriving monkey puzzle forest

The Eden Project’s work in preserving celebrated monkey puzzle trees as well as many other Chilean species has been praised by acclaimed documentary maker and author Rodrigo Fernandez, who has just published a definitive guide to trees from his home country growing abroad.

Rows of monkey puzzles and other Chilean plants are thriving on a quiet south-facing hillside just outside the former china clay quarry, home to Eden’s world-famous Biomes.

The Chilean arboretum was planted around the time Eden opened in 2001 as part of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh Conifer Conservation Programme. It was visited by Rodrigo during a stay in the UK to promote his lavish book Chilean Trees Around the World, a labour of love ten years in the making.

In Chile monkey puzzles – proper name Araucaria araucana and the National Tree of Chile – are under threat from disease and populations are fragmented. The trees appear on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list as endangered.

With their upturned branches and prickly leaves, monkey puzzles have a special place in Cornwall as they gained their common name when a specimen was planted in 1834 at Pencarrow House and a guest quipped that it would be a puzzle for a monkey. There are more than 70 planted in the arboretum at Eden.

Rodrigo said: “It is wonderful to see these trees and other trees and shrubs from my home country doing spectacularly well in Cornwall. In fact the monkey puzzles seem to grow better and faster here at Eden than in their native habitat and seem to love the climate here.

“With the forests in Chile under threat, it is very comforting to know that at Eden and in other places in the UK these trees are healthy and prospering. This is an important conservation story for now and for the future.”

Eden’s Director of Life Sciences Dr Mike Maunder said: “Eden works with conservation projects around the world and the Chilean plantings were amongst Eden’s earliest conservation initiatives.

“The feedback from Rodrigo was incredibly encouraging and we are planning to expand our monkey puzzle plantings with our partners at RBG Edinburgh. All conservation is based on partnerships and we are delighted to display the wonders of the Chilean forests to our guests and to provide a long term sanctuary for these iconic trees.”  

Rodrigo was visiting Eden with his wife Francisca Bustos, Chilean writer and photographer Iberia Torres and Peter West from the Anglo-Chilean Society.

The Chilean arboretum at Eden features in a chapter of Rodrigo’s book. The lavish study is a selection of 60 stories of Chilean trees around the world, encompassing 50 species.

Before presenting a signed copy for the Eden library, he gave a fascinating talk to Eden horticulturists about how plants from Chile have found their way into gardens across the globe and are particular favourites in the UK.

On their tour of the arboretum,  as well as viewing the monkey puzzles, the visiting party were able to see other fine specimen trees including Alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides) and the Cloud Podocarp (Podocarpus nubigenus).

Alongside the towering conifers are many plants that have become firm garden favourites in Britain. Examples of Fuchsia, Lobelia, Geum, Gunnera, Escallonia and Berberis form a key part of the collection.

The garden is filled with plants from the Valdivian Forests biodiversity hotspot in Central Chile, which represents almost one third of the world’s few remaining large tracts of relatively undisturbed temperate forest.

The collection began with collaboration between Eden, the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and their International Conservation Conifer Programme.

The Chilean garden is open to the public and the entrance is behind Eden’s Pineapple car-park.

To view a film of Chilean Trees Around the World go to


Paddington Bear at Lappa Valley this May half term

Posted on Saturday 12th May, 2018

Paddington Bear at Lappa Valley this May half term

Everyone’s favourite bear will be stopping off at Lappa Valley on Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 May.

Paddington will be making appearances throughout both days at East Wheal Rose. Make sure you bring your camera to capture the magic of this wonderful day out.

Enjoy a mile long steam ride into the leisure park, once inside delight in all of the great attractions on offer including crazy golf, canoeing lake, toddler path maze, indoor play carriages, pedal cars, play areas, nature walks and a further two railways to explore.

Avoid the entrance queues and book your train tickets in advance!


£12.95 Adult
£10.50 Child (3-15 years)
£10.50 Over 60’s
£42.00 Family Saver (2 adults & 2 children)
£45.00 Family Super Saver (2 adults & 3 children)

The Ticket Office opens from 9:30am for on the day tickets.

EXTRA TRAINS! Trains departing from Benny Halt every 20 minutes!
9:40, 10:00, 10:20, 10:40, 11:00, 11:20, 11:40, 12:00, 12:20, 12:40,
1:00, 1:20, 1:40, 2:00, 2:20, 2:40, 3:00, 3:20, 3:40, 4:00 4:20 & 4:40.

Annual Pass holders can enjoy the event at no additional cost!

Visit for full details.

Exotic plants in valley garden at Glendurgan blossom in time for a late spring

Posted on Friday 11th May, 2018

Exotic plants in valley garden at Glendurgan blossom in time for a late spring

Spring is a special time of year at National Trust Glendurgan Garden near Falmouth, with plenty to stimulate the senses. Visitors to the valley garden can enjoy seasonal highlights including a variety of wildflowers alongside more exotic plants such as the bright red flowers of the Chilean flame tree.

This Quaker garden was begun almost 200 years ago and looks stunning in spring with plenty of primroses, bluebells and early purple orchids adorning the grass banks. These delicate wildflowers provide a strong contrast to the giant rhododendron bushes which are also flowering in the garden and some of the later blossoming magnolias which can be found near the quirky Boat Seat.

As well as the array of spring colour, visitors to the garden can experience the peaceful sounds of birdsong and babbling streams, the strong scent of wild garlic and enjoy spotting a variety of bees and butterflies among the flowers.

For keen gardeners looking for some inspiration, the property’s plant centre offers an extensive range of plants and there is also a lovely new range of gifts available in the shop with designs inspired by Glendurgan’s wildflowers.

Tamsin Hennah, Senior Visitor Experience Officer, says ‘Spring is a wonderful season at Glendurgan. It’s lovely to see such a variety of colour throughout the garden and the carpet of bluebells across the garden in late April and May is a sight not to be missed.’

Glendurgan is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10.30am to 5.30pm.

For more information


Paradise Park's bald eagle, Archie, turns 30

Posted on Thursday 10th May, 2018

Paradise Park's bald eagle, Archie, turns 30

Arhcie the bald eagle and star of Paradise Park has just turned 30!

Keeper Leanne Gilbert “Archie is awesome. We work with him every day, and it is a privilege to work with such a magnificent bird. He is always the highlight of our 12noon flying display. He is also one of the most photographed. At the end of the flying session, a few keepers take out a few of the birds, including Archie, next to the public viewing area so people can get close and take photos and ask questions.”


Archie preparing for the 12noon ‘Eagles of Paradise’ flying show


The Park have also introduced a young Bald Eagle called ‘Dakota’, and after training in 2017, this summer sees Dakota flying most days in the 12noon ‘Eagles of Paradise Display’. Dakota was born in April 2015 at Magdeburg Zoo.

A Bald Eagle’s diet consists mainly of fish, but it is an opportunistic feeder. They prefer habitats near seacoasts, rivers, large lakes, oceans, and other large bodies of open water with an abundance of fish, they hunt by swooping down and snatching the fish out of the water with their talons. They reach 35–43 mph when gliding and flapping and when they dive it’s between 75–99 mph, although they seldom dive vertically. Considered a sacred bird in some North American cultures, the Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States of America.

For more information on the daily events and flying times please visit


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