Knighthood for Tim Smit of the Eden Project

January 20, 2011
Author: Tom


The head of the Eden Project Tim Smit has been appointed an honorary Knight by Her Majesty the Queen.

The Dutch-born Co-founder and Chief Executive of Eden, who is also renowned for the restoration of the Lost Gardens of Heligan, is being given the honour in recognition of his services to public engagement with science.

Tim, who was previously awarded an honorary CBE in 2002, is a noted speaker and author.  His account of the establishment of the project, entitled Eden, was recently acclaimed the best-selling environmental book of the past decade.

News of the honour – full title honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) – was confirmed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

As the news became public today (20 January), Tim said:  “I’m hugely honoured.  In the true spirit of ‘going Dutch’ I would like to share the honour with all the fabulous friends and colleagues who have helped make the adventures of the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project a reality.”

Tim was born in Holland on 25 September 1954. He read Archaeology and Anthropology at Durham University and then worked for ten years in the music industry as composer/producer in both rock music and opera.

In 1987 Tim moved to Cornwall, where he and John Nelson together ‘discovered’ and then restored the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Tim remains a Director of the gardens to the present day.

The Eden Project began as a dream in 1995 and fully opened to the public on 17 March 2001.  Since then nearly 13 million people have come to see what was once a sterile pit turned into a cradle of life containing world-class horticulture and startling architecture that is symbolic of human endeavour.

In the years since, Eden has contributed more than £1 billion to the regional economy. The project  is proud of its success in changing people’s perception of the potential for and the application of science, by communicating and interpreting scientific concepts through the use of art, drama and storytelling, as well as living up to its mission to take a pivotal role in local regeneration.

Tim is a Trustee, Patron and Board Member of a number of statutory and voluntary bodies both locally and nationally. He has received a variety of national awards including The Royal Society of Arts Albert Medal. He has received Honorary Doctorates and Fellowships from a number of universities and was voted ‘Great Briton of 2007’ in the Environment category of the Morgan Stanley Great Britons Awards.

Tim has taken part in many television and radio programmes and has been the subject of This is Your Life and a guest on Desert Island Discs. He is a regular speaker at conferences, dinners and other events. As well as the book about Eden, he is the author of a best-selling book about Heligan and has contributed to publications on a wide variety of subjects.


6 responses to Knighthood for Tim Smit of the Eden Project

  1. tim slattery says:

    Following Tims insperational talk at lat weeks Hay-on-Wye festival which my wife and I along with hundreds of other folk really found insperational, management style ect, I would like to book Tim to give a talk to an annual dinner in Taunton.

    Please could you let me know the process requesting such a booking.

    Thank you

    Tim slattery

  2. 'Árni Björn Gudjónsson says:

    Very intresting project
    I like to do same in Iceland
    We have lot og hot water
    I need e-mail by Tim Smit
    Árni Björn

  3. Vladimir Sotirov, Bulgaria says:

    Firstly, I wish all of you Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

    I am a mathematician and the geometric construction of the domes of the Eden Project strongly impressed me. In this direction, I have certain ideas concerning some possible shapes yet unkonwn and therefore not used by architects. May I obtain the e-mail of Mr. Tim Smit to share with him my ideas?

    With best regards, Vladimir

  4. Eden Project says:

    Hi Vladmir, Thanks for your comments. Happy New Year to you too! Please send your message to Tim via Jo Gale using this email address:

  5. david pells says:

    I wish to contact sir Tim smit in connection with a project in south africa is it possible to obtain his email address

  6. Eden Project says:

    Hi David, Please email Jo Gale on – she will be able to deal with your request to contact Tim.

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