Eden's new Rainforest Aerial Walkway
We have started building a new Rainforest Aerial Walkway experience inside our Rainforest Biome, designed to be Europe’s leading rainforest education resource.
Preview tours: June 2013
Preview tours of the first phase of Eden’s Rainforest Aerial Walkway experience are being held this June before full opening in later in the year. You can book a tour by calling the Eden Box Office on 01726 811972.
From paths set in the sheer cliff face, the Walkway stretches out through the steamy canopy, immersing visitors in the majesty, mystery and wonder of the forest. The Walkway will teach visitors not only about the importance of rainforests but also about what they can do to help save them.
In this first phase visitors will be welcomed by artistic interpretation inspired by the Baka people of West Africa and will also be able to discover how the canopy scientists live and study in the treetops. Eden's horticulturalists are working on new plant exhibits and landscaping to accompany the installation.
The first section of the Walkway takes visitors out to a Nest platform high above the forest where people can explore the diversity of plants and pollinators from the treetops. Art exhibitions are currently being created, with public participation, to bring the story of the rainforest’s biodiversity to life. The second section of the Walkway takes the visitors further through the canopy to a cliff path nestled in the back wall of the Biome.
Eden is working with the Sensory Trust to make the experience great for visitors of all ages and abilities. The Walkway will be accessible to pushchairs and wheelchairs.
Supporters and team
The first phase of the Walkway has been made possible thanks to the generous support of a number of educational and scientific foundations and individuals, including the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation and donors to the Eddie George Memorial Appeal.
The Walkway design and project team comprising Blueforest, SKM, Buro Happold, Ward Williams Associates and EaseManage has worked hand in hand with the Eden Project team to bring the project to life.
Plans for phase two
Fundraising continues and plans for the second phase of the walkway are already under way. Once funded, Eden will build on the experience reaching further into the treetops to take visitors to the Weather Station, an artistic installation which will enable intrepid explorers to discover how rainforests control the world’s climate and experience and measure weather. The Met Office is working with the Eden Project on this phase.
Subsequent phases will include a Fruit Bar in the treetops, exploring ways of supporting livelihoods in the forest through rainforest-friendly products, and a Field Station where visitors will be able to discover ways in which they can help look after the rainforests of the world.
Support our Rainforest Aerial Walkway
The Rainforest Aerial Walkway will be an inspirational and transformative experience. A generation that does not understand or value the natural world will not strive to protect it, but Eden is uniquely placed to demonstrate the vital role rainforests play in all our lives and to inspire action.
We're already half way to our target but need your support to reach our goal. Donate now and help us achieve this.
- £5 could enable a schoolchild to take part in a canopy challenge workshop
- £15 could purchase a seed for a new tropical giant
- £100 could help us build one of the buttress root structures to support the treetop walkways
How to support the project
What the Canopy Journey includes:
- Base Camp
- Phase one: The Base Camp will set the scene for the Walkway experience, introducing visitors to the wonders of the rainforests and the first spectacular views over the rainforest canopy.
- Phase two: leaving Base Camp, the walkway path leads through the Rainforest Biome, at one point even going behind Eden’s waterfall to a secret, hidden cave. Bridges come out from this path at canopy height to a series of learning spaces and exciting experiences.
- Phase two: the walkways will provide a highly experiential journey: a feeling of walking though old ruins in the forest, alcoves of artefacts and artistic installations, telescopes and binoculars trained out and down onto specific plants and parts of the Biome.
- Phase two: Nest
- From the main walkway, explorers will be able to visit a huge ‘bowerbird nest’, a lattice of timber and living plants used as a space to learn about rainforest biodiversity. Here we will gather and display exhibitions of rainforest biodiversity and carry out a range of workshops with young people.
- Phase one: Here we will gather and display exhibitions of rainforest biodiversity and carry out a range of workshops with young people. Over 100,000 different species can be found in one hectare of rainforest. A chandelier hanging above the Walkway at this point will portray the diversity of life and. The design of nature - form fitting function
- Phase two: Weather Station
- A learning space filled with dials, thermometers, floating weather balloons, hygrometers, and all fashion of strange but fully operational weather-monitoring equipment, the Weather Station will contain information explaining how rainforests control the earth’s climate.
- Our school visitors will be able to use authentic equipment to produce genuine measurements of conditions in the Biome and we aim to link from here to canopy scientists and meteorologists working in the field.
- Phase three: Field Station
- The journey culminates at a Field Station, where you can get practical ideas on how to help look afer the forests that look after you.
Rainforest is the glue that holds the climate of our planet together. Lose the forest and it will have devastating consequences for all life on earth.Professor Sir Ghillean Prance
12 years after we opened, our forest has grown and is reaching for the sky. At last, we have been able to start to build the walkway and, with you all, take to the trees.Dr Jo Elworthy, Eden’s Director of Interpretation