Free neighbourhood plan conferences for communities

May 31, 2012
Author: Hannah

This event has finished, but we are running a similar event in Bristol in February 2013.

Is your community looking for guidance and inspiration with your Neighbourhood Plan? Come along to one of our free ‘Planning Camps’, which are specially designed to give communities and Neighbourhood Planning Front Runners the tools and ideas to shape where they live.

Planning camps offer a combination of:

  • plenary sessions featuring people who have been there and done it
  • immersive design walks
  • hands-on workshops
  • networking with other neighbourhood planning groups

Over a hundred people attended the first Planning Camp at the Eden Project, but this time we’re coming to where you live!

The three residential summer events are taking place in Southampton, Birmingham and Leeds. All sessions, meals and accommodation are funded by our Neighbourhood Planning programme, in partnership with Locality.

Delegates networking at the Eden Project

If you’d like a taste of the sort of things you might be doing at the event, check out what happened at the last camp:

Visual minutes: These give you a visual idea of all the topics and ideas we talked about: like how communities can take a leadership role in planning, how to engage people in your local area and how the new Localism laws affect neighbourhood planning.

Planning Camp presentations: We heard from planning professionals, community engagement experts and from people whose local communities were creating their own neighbourhood plan.

‘How to’ blogs: These were produced as resources by presenters from the first Planning Camp – on how to use social media for neighbourhood planning and how to work with young people in neighbourhood planning.

Participants told us:

[The event was] ‘a great ‘ideas’ catalyst’

‘Very enjoyable, good company, great venue, enthusiastic presenters, well organised.’

Artists creating visual minutes at the first Planning Camp

Event dates

The events are taking place in Southampton (22-23 June 2012), Birmingham (29-30 June 2012) and Leeds (13-14 July 2012).

How to register for the events

The events are best suited to community groups and individuals involved in Neighbourhood Planning – primarily in one of the government’s Front Runner communities, but please do contact us even if your community doesn’t fall within one of these areas.

Places are limited, so please register your interest to attend by filling in this simple online form.


Prestigious energy management award for Eden Project

May 31, 2012
Author: Hannah

Great news, our very own Matt Hastings has just scooped an award for ESTA Energy Manager of the Year.

Matt was awarded the annual award by the Energy Services and Technology Association (ESTA), picked from nominees that included staff from Sainsbury’s, BT and Northern Rail.

During his three years at Eden Matt has overhauled many of our technical systems to help us reduce our energy consumption and meet Eden’s target to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2015 (compared with 2007 – 2008).

Matt Hastings and Tim Smit holding the award at the Eden Project

Initiatives include installing high-efficiency boilers and energy-efficient LED lights, as well as a Building Management System – like a giant TV remote allowing for very tight control of our heating and electrical systems.

Matt has also been instrumental in launching Eden Solarfair, the UK’s first employee-owned renewables project, in partnership with Ebico. The pioneering scheme is giving Eden staff the chance to invest in a new programme to provide free, renewable energy for the site, generated by solar panels, while offering them returns on their investments.

He has played a leading role in the planning for a proposed deep geothermal power plant on the site, too.

At the ceremony Matt said: ‘Ultimately, energy management is about change, turning the tanker around and flipping it on its head. I want Eden to set a standard which changes the industry.

We have set the bar high; not in the name of social responsibility, but in the name of common sense.’

Find out more about Eden’s energy management.

No comments
Environment, Sustainability

Five tips to kick-start change in your business

May 22, 2012
Author: Hannah

If your business is keen to get its head around the low-carbon agenda, and make the most of the opportunities it throws up, have a look at our five top business tips.

They’ve been put together by Eden experts who’ve worked with over 300 businesses here on the Green Foundation programme, giving them the tools and inspiration to make positive changes to their organisations.

1. Have a vision

Dare to imagine what ‘great’ looks like. Identify your vision and where you wish to take your business. Then establish your values; they will guide you there. Next, you can start to take steps to achieve it, one step at a time.

One company that took a very bold step and set itself such a mission is carpet manufacturer Interface, when in 1994 founder Ray Anderson challenged his team to ‘Be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the entire world what sustainability is in all its dimensions: people, process, product, place and profits – and in doing so, become restorative through the power of influence.’

You might not be ready for this sort of statement yet, but knowing where you want to end up is vital. For example, wholesale food suppliers Country Range group, who took part in our Green Foundation programme earlier this year, are at the beginning of their journey, but they have set themselves a goal to focus their nationwide members on sustainability and responsible business this year.

They’re starting with Green Foundation’s toolkit for change and are currently gathering ideas from across the company. As they say, from little acorns…

Hand drawing a picture

2. Ask questions

Make a habit of finding things out and try and see things from different perspectives; ask questions, start conversations with staff, suppliers, clients and other businesses, organisations and communities. You may not always find answers straight away, but the more informed you are, the better business decisions you will make.

Remember that your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Many of our activities on the Green Foundation programme are designed to help companies get a fresh perspective on their operations and see how they’re part of a bigger picture, especially when it comes to environmental impacts – which are passed on from suppliers, and to clients and customers.

One of our most popular workshops is centred on understanding the story behind a simple mug of coffee, and encourages participants to consider all the different processes and players that take it from crop to cup.

Working with key staff – or even beyond – mapping yourself within a bigger supply chain, and looking at the key inputs and outputs of your business, is time well spent.

Participants debating on the Green Foundation course

3. Recognise your power to influence

Consider the things that your business says and does, what you decide to invest in, what initiatives you support and you’ll see how your actions are like a ripple in a pond. Taking a positive approach to your power to influence positive change – and collaborating with others – can result in some quite significant changes.

Part of our recipe for success on the Green Foundation programme is bringing companies together under one roof, and even encouraging them to learn from each other through a reciprocal business exchange.

One our favourite stories to come out of programme is that three companies within the construction sector who met on Green Foundation have set up the very first Sustainable Building Association network in the Southwest. They’re now convening builders, architects, designers, manufacturers, housing associations and local authorities to develop, share and promote best practice across the region.

Man making a handprint on a globe

4. Celebrate success

Remember to celebrate success, even the small things. It’s easy to let the everyday humdrum get in the way of all the good stuff, so do stop and acknowledge people’s efforts.

If you’ve created a vision for your organisation, remember that there are many small steps on the way to achieving this, and each of these is a mini achievement to be celebrated.

Here at Eden we have an overall aim to cut our carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2015, with an interim target of 25% by 2013 (compared with 2007–2008). We’ve now started celebrating our small achievements on this journey in an annual sustainability report.

Team celebrating together

5. Share your story

We all have stories. Businesses do too. Increasingly people identify with why businesses do what they do; with the stories behind them. Take some time to tell your story; what started it all, where you aspire to go, steps you’re taking to get there… Be transparent and honest.

Because we’ve included all our sustainability figures in our latest report, warts and all, it means that others can learn from our mistakes too!

And when you do have something amazing to share, don’t be shy about shouting about it. We’re really proud of the Green Foundation participants who have put themselves up for sustainability awards and come away with some sparkling successes. Trenython Manor, part of the global Club La Costa World Resort chain, has won two green tourism awards, while four of our participants were winners at last year’s Cornwall Sustainability Awards.

Two gentlemen talking on the Green Foundation programme

If you’d like to work with Eden on instigating change in your business, check out our Green Foundation programme.

No comments
Business, Green Foundation, Sustainability

Eden’s handmade pottery range now available online

May 21, 2012
Author: admin

If you’ve enjoyed a meal in the Eden Bakery, you’ve probably spotted our gorgeous hand thrown pots used for the soups, stews and salads.

Since commissioning this contemporary range of pottery, we’ve had overwhelming interest from people wanting to collect the range at home. And as we want you to enjoy this pottery just as much as we do at Eden, we are now offering this collection to the public both in our shops on site, and on our webshop. Well, it was a no brainer – you asked for it, we’ll deliver it!

Our custom range is designed and handmade in west Cornwall by a partnership of French potter, Michel Francois and Cornish potter Jacob Bodilly. The team worked with Falmouth University to research and develop ceramic technology which marries traditional techniques with modern technology. This has resulted in a range that has durability and style, beauty and function, rustic charm in a 21st century kitchen.

We caught up with Michel and Jacob in their studios to see exactly how these handmade pots are made:

1. With hand drawings, the jug is taken from conception to design.

2. First they roll and weigh the clay, work it until it’s soft. They then create an egg shape.

3. Using the palm of the hand, they gently shape the clay on the pottery wheel, adding water for pliability. Fingers are used to define the shape.

4. At this point, they create the basic shape of the jug on the pottery wheel.

5. Once the pot looks like a pot, the next task is to create the spout and mark the position of the handle.

6. To ensure a firm bond, they score the clay to attach the handle. They do this on both the handle and the pot.

7. The handle is shaped and sealed with a stylish dimple.

8. Eden Project logo is proudly stamped on.

9. All of the inside and half the outside jug is dipped in white chocolate, oops I mean glaze.

10. The finished jug is ready to be packaged and shipped out directly to customers.

To buy these gorgeous pots, visit our webshop and collect the whole range.

Art, Shop
, , , , ,

Live updates from the Olympic Torch Relay at Eden

May 19, 2012
Author: Tom

Click ‘refresh’ to check for the latest updates on this page. Get involved on Twitter – tag your tweets #DayOne2012


Check out our video of the Flame going up in the balloon:


Amazing shots of an amazing day. Thanks to everyone who came – please share your experiences of the day with us via Twitter or Facebook.


Gaynor Coley, our Chief Executive, Enterprise, said: ‘What a day for Cornwall, the UK and for the Eden Project. To be among the first places to witness this extraordinary spectacle was a moment we will remember forever.

‘The rousing welcome that Cornwall gave the Olympic Flame shows the true spirit of this special place to the rest of the world. Ben was beautiful the Biomes were beautiful, it was a Cornish gold medal of a day.’


Ben Fogle on his experience as the torchbearer: ‘As I ran through the Eden Project there were crowds of people and roars of appreciation…The helium balloon rose 50 metres to the top of the Biome. It was extraordinary looking out on a sea of people and all the plants below. It felt very special: I was very proud to be part of it’


Ben thanks Eden Team member Mike for bringing him and the flame back safely down to earth. Ben said the experience was “Unforgettable”.


Ben ascends with the Olympic Flame in our Rainforest Balloon.


Here’s a nice one of Ben carrying the Olympic Torch down our Plane Tree Steps.


Wow! The Olympic Torch has now been and gone. Ben Fogle did a great job as torchbearer. Here he is on our Viewing Platform. The crowd loved every minute!


There are all types of fun and games to get involved in today at our Freaky Nature exhibit, which is all about exploring the strange world of plants. (It’s also on during next half-term – 2-10 June).

Pictured right is Amelia Ottewell trying her hand at strangler fig hoopla, where the player is the fig plant trying to strangle trees with their hoopy loops.

Here’s Lara Lewis Ras from Chesham in Buckinghamshire stuck to our sticky velcro wall, a bit like a giant burdock seed.

Here’s Chris Bisson from the Eden Science team showing Jack Ratcliffe from St Blazey Gate the algae used to colour blue Smarties.


Turned out nice again! The weather’s looking lovely here at Eden at the moment. Ice creams, t-shirts, shorts all over the place!


Jerry, Kevin, Mike and Lucy are The Barrel Rock Boys. They’ve come down from Bude to sing some sea shanties in the sun. They’ll be singing again at 3.30pm just before  the arrival of the Olympic flame.


We’ve got our very own special ‘torch’ in flower in our Rainforest Biome right now. Torch ginger Etlingera elatior is grown throughout SE Asia: the stems of the flowers are chopped up and added to curries or soups with rice noodles. Find out more and see more pictures on our torch ginger page.


A couple of local lads with paper Olympic Torches they’ve made with the help of Eden’s Rob Copeland (left). If you’d like to make your own torch to wave when the real one arrives at Eden, come and find Rob and the team outside the Stage area.


We’ve got demonstrations of Cornish wrestling – or ‘wrasslin’ as it’s known locally- taking place in our Orchard at 1.3opm and 2.30pm this afternoon.

In the sport, which goes back thousands of years, all holds are taken on the jacket; wrestlers are not allowed to catch hold of any other part of their opponent’s body.

Ken Cocks, spokesman  for Cornish Wrestling, said: ‘It’s fitting that they’re bringing the Olympic Torch here to Eden today, and hopefully they’ll see some wrestling, which is Cornwall’s national sport.’

Pictured above is Jamie Stone throwing Tom Coleman (both from Bodmin).


Rapper and singer Labrinth was flying in a helicopter over Eden this morning, and tweeted a great aerial shot of the Project. Check out his tweet here. Labrinth will be performing live at Eden later in the summer, at the Chase and Status gig on Wednesday 4 July 2012.


Here’s a map of the Olympic Flame’s route through Eden. TV’s Ben Fogle will carry it from from the Visitor Centre, down the Plane Tree Steps and then into the Rainforest Biome where he’ll go up in our Rainforest Balloon. Entry to the Rainforest Biome will be limited when the Torch is here, but there will be plenty of other great vantage points. Click on the link to see the map in more detail, with all the vantage points marked.

Map of the Olympic Flame’s route through Eden (PDF)

Here’s the full programme of activities for the day:

  • The Olympic Torch is expected to arrive at Eden at 4.22pm and depart at 4.52pm (although these times may change). TV’s Ben Fogle will carry the Flame way across the Eden site and take a flight in the Rainforest Balloon.
  • Freaky Nature (10am–6pm in the Stage): discover the weird and wonderful world of plants with interactive exhibits.
  • Sports day (11am–4pm in the Arena): battle it out with your family in events such as hobby horse dressage, hobby horse relay, bean-bag shot put and an obstacle course relay.
  • Cornish wrestling (11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm in the Orchard): come and see demonstrations of this ancient sport, known locally as ‘wrasslin’.
  • Sea shanties (12.30pm and 3.30pm  in the Orchard ): sung by local group, the Barrel Rock Boys.
  • Storytelling: Fairytales for a Mended Earth – Stories from Gondwana. Learn about ancient tree species from the super-continent of Gondwana, and Eden’s new and magical garden: Wild Chile.
  • Recycled paper-making workshops (11am – 4pm): join us in the paper garden.
  • Marketplace of Ideas (10am–4pm in the Core): find out more about our creative community projects, from art, music and dance to college courses and volunteering  opportunities across the county. There will also be info on health, sporting initiatives, legal advice, sustainable living, reducing your carbon and saving money.
  • Meet our local suppliers: come to our Visitor Centre meet our local suppliers to our Shop and sample some of the Best of the West.
  • Sharp’s Real Ale Bar in the Bakery.

Good morning sports fans, and everyone else! Things are warming up nicely here at the Eden Project for the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay at 4.22pm this afternoon.

We’ve got loads of activities on throughout the day, so come down to have some fun and don’t miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Olympic Flame in our unique venue.

Celebrations, Fun, Sport

Ben Fogle to carry Olympic Flame at Eden on Saturday

May 15, 2012
Author: Tom

Presenter, writer and adventurer Ben Fogle will be carrying the Olympic Flame in our helium-filled balloon in our Rainforest Biome on Saturday 19 May.

He is one of thousands of torch-bearers who will carry the Flame on its journey around the UK, starting at Land’s End on the morning of 19 May, travelling through Cornwall that day and eventually arriving at the Olympic Stadium in London on 27 July.

The Olympic Torch is due to arrive at Eden at around 4.20pm, stop outside the Visitor Centre, where the flame will be transferred into a lantern, and transported to the Rainforest Biome, where it will soar 50m in the air, held aloft by Ben.

Ben said: “I am thrilled to be one of the Torchbearers for London 2012 in such an iconic location. To be flying the Flame in a helium balloon within the dome is a great honour and a great treat. It will certainly be an experience I won’t forget.”

As well as the chance to see the Olympic Flame in our unique setting, there will be a whole day of activities for families who want to have a day out at Eden around the visit of the Flame:

  • Freaky Nature, a series of interactive activities exploring the strange world of plants with a special Olympic theme focusing on nature’s gold medallists (all day).
  • Cornish wrestling displays (11.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm),
  • performances of traditional sea shanties from the Barrel Rock Boys (12.30pm, 3.30pm)
  • dance demonstrations (1pm, 2pm, 3pm)
  • Eden sports day in the arena between 11am and 4pm, featuring events such as hobby horse dressage, bean bag shot put and an obstacle course relay.
  • Marketplace of Ideas, a chance for visitors to find out more about community projects from Eden and other groups.

The Eden Project will be open from 9.30am on 19 May and standard admission prices will apply. See full details of the day on the Eden website.

About Ben Fogle

Ben’s achievements include racing 160 miles across the Sahara desert in the notorious Marathon Des Sables. He has rowed the Atlantic Ocean in 49 days and crossed Antarctica in a foot race to the South Pole. He has also presented numerous programmes including BBC’s Animal Park, Wild In Africa, Countryfile, Crufts, One Man and His Dog and Extreme Dreams.

He writes regularly for the Sunday Telegraph and the Independent and has written five bestselling books. Ben’s latest book, The Accidental Adventurer is out now. He is an ambassador for WWF, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Tusk, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the President of the Campaign for National Parks.

Olympic Torch Relay route animation

Watch the Flame whizz through Eden in the amazing computer-generated animation.

No comments
Celebrations, Sport
, , ,

Win a luxury garlic hamper or two tickets to the Eden Project this Father’s Day

May 14, 2012
Author: admin

Dads usually get the raw end of the deal. After a lifetime of hard slog, tolerance and unlimited car rides we typically say thank you each year with a new pair of socks or a comedy mug. How about looking beyond the high street for gifts for dad this Father’s Day with something a little more unusual, ethical and thoughtful.

To celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday 17 June we’re giving away a free luxury garlic hamper from our webshop; a delectable collection of all things garlic. This sustainable wicker hamper is packed with artisan chutneys, marmalades, mayonnaise and a hot smoked garlic bulb. Perfect for garlic lovers.

We’re also giving away two tickets for a memorable day out at the Eden Project, enabling two lucky people to explore our stunning gardens, visit the world’s largest rainforest in captivity and discover our world-class sculptures.

How to enter

To be in with a chance to win our popular garlic lovers hamper or a two tickets to the Eden Project, all you have to do is place any order on our webshop before Sunday 17 June and we’ll automatically enter you in to the prize draw.

Prize draw terms and conditions

• The first name drawn at random after the closing date will receive the prize as detailed above.
• The prize is non-refundable, non-transferable and subject to availability. No alternative prize will be offered and there is no cash alternative.
• The draw is not open to employees of The Eden Project, their families, its agents or anyone professionally connected with the prize draw.
• All shop orders must be received by 9am on 17 June 2012. The winner will be notified by email after the closing date.
• By entering this competition you are giving the Eden Project permission to contact you at a future date. You can unsubscribe from this service at any time.
• Prize draw open to all UK residents. Entrants must be over 16 years of age.

, , , ,

Join the Eden schools team at the Sunday Times Festival of Education

May 11, 2012
Author: Guest

We’re delighted to have been asked to take our own brand of learning to the Sunday Times Festival of Education on the 23–24 June 2012, dubbed the ‘Educational Glasto’.

We’ll be rubbing shoulders with the likes of David Starkey, Lord Adonis and our very own Tim Smit, who are discussing aspects of education in all its glory at Wellington College in Berkshire.

You’re most likely to find the schools team, however, running around in the mud (yes, just like Glastonbury) delivering a practical session on taking the curriculum outdoors, a subject close to our hearts.

Working in the beautiful 500-acre grounds of Wellington College, we’ll be running activities for teachers that will help them encourage young people to look again at the world around them – for example writing poems outside, creating stories, doing maths with nature, and making beautiful natural art.

Teachers on an outdoor learning course with the Eden Project

We’re aiming to show teachers that teaching outside can be quick, easy and effective, and that it will add depth, quality and meaning to a child’s learning experience. It doesn’t need a lot of planning resources or paperwork – and is also a lot of fun.

If you can’t come to the festival, then why not book a place on our outdoor learning teacher training day here at Eden Project on 28 September 2012, a whole-day course dedicated to these same issues?

By Bran Howell

Creativity, Education
, , ,

10 tips for gardeners in May from the Eden Project

May 2, 2012
Author: Tom

Video: 10 tips for gardeners in May from the Eden Project

  1. Harvest rhubarb to eat.
  2. Now the frosts have passed, plant out bedding plants.
  3. Remove weeds by hand, or perhaps with a hoe.
  4. Protect strawberry plants from rain splashing up against them by surrounding them with straw.
  5. Put in supports, such as cane wig-wams or twiggy sticks, for climbers and herbaceous plants.
  6. Control pests by using other insects that feed on them.
  7. Sow annual wildflowers in gaps.
  8. Encourage bushy growth from plants propagated last autumn by pinching out the tips.
  9. Take cuttings from and propagate tender perennials.
  10. Amid all the many jobs, don’t forget to take some time out and enjoy your garden!

With thanks to Catherine Cutler.

No comments
Gardening, Horticulture, How to, Potting shed
, , ,
  • Categories

  • Tags

  • Archives