(For a bit of fun, every Friday our Plant Records Manager, Chris Bisson, the guy who maintains all the recorded information on our plant collections, will do a regular blog slot where he recommends his favourite “plant records” – that is, songs that are in some way linked to a plant. (Do you see what we did there?) )
‘Ragged Wood’ – Fleet Foxes (2008)
As september approaches lots of our woodland comes into life before the onset of autumn and leaf fall.
Tricyrtis formosana ‘Empress’ is an example, this Toad Lily has stunning orchid-like flowers mottled and spotted with reddish-brown. This can be seen growing on our Plane Tree Steps.
Chris Bisson – Plant Records Manager – Eden Project
Visitors to the Eden Project’s Rainforest Biome will soon get a chance to climb way above the treetops and enjoy a unique bird’s eye view of the biggest greenhouse in the world.
The Rainforest Lookout is a new aerial platform at the top of the 150-foot-high biome – taller than the Tower of London – so visitors can look down on the tropical canopy in a way they never could before.
It’s officially opening this weekend but here’s a sneak preview video showing the Lookout being hoisted up to the top of the Biome.
Tim Smit, Eden’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re going to give visitors a whole new perspective on the rainforest with a view usually seen by only the most intrepid of explorers and scientists….and birds! The world’s largest rainforest in captivity is about to become even more thrilling – and terrifying.”
From the Lookout, visitors will be able to see giant trees such as kapok and balsa which have nearly reached the biome ceiling. They may even catch a glimpse of wildlife such as tree frogs and tiny birds known as Sulawesi White Eyes.
We’ve just installed a helium balloon to allow our gardeners to fly around the towering canopy of the Rainforest Biome. The balloon gives great access to the tops of the giant trees in the Biome, making it easier to prune fast-growing trees such as balsa and kapok, which have reached the 50m ceiling of the Biome.
In the past, the gardeners have kept the forest’s trees under control by using a cherry-picker or by abseiling from the roof of the Biome but some upper branches have grown out of their reach.
Later in the year we hope to be able to give visitors this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly through the treetops, so watch this space!
The soulful singer Paolo Nutini is just one of the many people who have shown their support for Eden’s new volunteering scheme the Barefoot Games.
We caught up with Paolo just before his second sell-out performance at the Eden Sessions to tell him all about it.
The Barefoot Games is a new volunteering scheme for young people aged between 16 and 25. Using the 2012 Olympic Games as inspiration, participants will design the specifics of the programme and how they think they can best help their community
The Barefoot Games is part of the “mygames” programme, set up by V, The National Young Volunteers Service. Within mygames, 20 innovative charities were chosen from across the country to help young people to set up their own projects and to celebrate the values of the 2012 Olympic Games. These values include friendship, respect, excellence, equality and determination.
During the Barefoot Games we will be harnessing people’s passions to inspire them to make positive changes in their community. During the recent Sessions season, we thought that it was the perfect opportunity to see just what gets people motivated.
We asked our 16 to 25 year olds to whip off their shoes, socks, flip flops and crocs to draw around their feet and write down what they’re most passionate about. The answers, which included music, mascara and many more, will eventually form a display on site to inspire our Barefoot volunteers.
Paolo 23, who is six years into his singing career, would be just the right age to join the programme and he was more that happy to lend a hand (or foot) to the cause. After some consideration, he decided that he was most passionate about ‘stayin’ alive’, written Bee Gees style, and signed his name with a smiley face.
Celine Elliot, Barefoot Games Project Leader, said: “It’s brilliant that Paolo has taken the time to help to support the Games, I hope that other people feel the same way and will want to sign up to this great programme.”
The Barefoot Games will be recruiting until the end of the year, so if you’re passionate about something, whether it’s staying alive or just having fun, there is still plenty of time to sign up and help make a difference to your community.
If you’d like further information on the Barefoot Games, then you can contact Celine Elliott on 01726 818587, email firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting vinspired.com.