Steve Backshall goes on a mini-beast safari in Eden’s lush tropical pond
Thursday, July 4, 2019 - 13:00
TV daredevil Steve Backshall waded into the tropical depths of the Eden Project to inspire people to discover the amazing wildlife in their own backyards.
BAFTA-winning Steve went on a chest-deep safari in the exotic lily pond at the heart Eden’s sultry Rainforest Biome to check out some of the animals which most visitors might not see.
The area in and around the pond is home to tree frogs, geckos, birds and many varieties of insect.
Steve donned a pair of waders and armed himself with a net as he went pond-dipping where only a few Eden staff have been before.
The pond is surrounded by lush planting and fed by the giant waterfall at the top of the Biome – the biggest undercover rainforest in the world.
Steve has been pond-dipping since he was a child and says that having a pond in the garden is one of the best ways to get hands-on with wildlife in your own backyard.
He says: “Pond-dipping is a way of getting down into the scum in the bottom of your pond which can look pretty grim for us but is a fantastic habitat, particularly for invertebrates.
“A lot of the insects we see flying around us in the air in the spring and the summer live out most of their lives as aquatic invertebrates on the bottom of ponds.
“The big hawker dragon flies, the damselflies, the caddisflies, the alderflies, all of these incredible creatures are living as the most alien-looking animals at the bottom of your pond.”
He said that a simple net is all you need to start having a closer look.
Steve added: “Even better is to have a viewing glass, magnifying glass or even a microscope to really see these creatures at their best because they’re some of the most extraordinary, bizarre aliens you’ll see anywhere on the planet.”
Steve is no stranger to Eden, having previously visited to film an episode of the CBBC show Live ‘n’ Deadly in 2010 and more recently with his wife, double Olympic gold medal-winning rower Helen Glover, ahead of a 2017 charity canoe race to raise funds for the Bornean rainforest.
While at Eden, Steve also shot a series of videos about nature, the environment and the practical steps people can take to help protect them.
The films are being released through Eden’s social media accounts in the run-up to Earth Story, Eden’s major new event for the summer holiday than runs from July 24 to September 3. The first video is now available at https://youtu.be/pKHLj7R-Lzk.
Earth Story will share the amazing tale of the Earth’s astonishing past and precarious present day - and look towards a positive future. It will feature giant beasts including a majestic lifelike gorilla, compelling stories, mind-blowing virtual reality and interactive exhibits, taking visitors on an incredible journey.
Visitors will be able to venture into an all-new immersive exhibition space, where they will be transported to a world of wonder.
They can get up close to an ice-age mammoth skeleton in the Cave of Lost Giants and marvel at the magical Cabinet of Consequence, a showcase of the intricate web of life that connects us all.
Exploring Wild Britain, they will discover the forgotten animals that roamed freely around our landscapes in the past – and find out about some that are making a comeback.
They can hear about the plants and animals on the brink of being lost forever, and be inspired by people and projects from around the world that are working to save them.
Earth Story takes place between July 24 and September 3. For more information or to book tickets, see www.edenproject.com.