Who's who

The teams at Eden report to the Board, who report to the Trustees, who ensure we meet our charitable aims. The Eden Project is wholly owned by the Eden Trust.

Eden is operated on behalf of the Trust by Eden Project Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Eden Trust. Any profit generated is reinvested back into the Trust. Eden Project Limited is managed by a Board of Executive and Non-Executive Directors who remain ultimately responsible to the Eden Trust, a UK Registered Charity (number 1093070).

The Board

Eden Project Limited is managed by a Board of Executive and Non-executive Directors who remain ultimately responsible to registered charity the Eden Trust.


Judith Donovan CBE, Non-executive Chairman of the Eden Project and Non-executive Director of Eden Regeneration Ltd

Judith Donovan CBE was one of the first female entrepreneurs in Yorkshire, founding her own marketing agency in 1982, which she grew to over 50 staff, with a turnover of £12.5 million, before selling to her managers in 2000.

Since then she has pursued a non–executive career, primarily in the Public and Third sectors, and currently is Chair, Eden Project Ltd; Chair, Keep Me Posted Campaign; Chair, Royal Mail’s Strategic Mailing Partnership; Director, York Mailing Group Ltd; Director, British Wool Marketing Board; Director, Hull University Union; Public Member, Network Rail; Member, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority; Member, Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee North Yorkshire; Member, Ripon Cathedral Finance Board.

Previously she has been Chair of the Yorkshire Tourist Board, Chair of Bradford TEC, President of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chair of Postwatch, a Millennium Commissioner, a Director of HSE and BIG Lottery Fund and also a Trustee of Northern Ballet and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

Sir Tim Smit KBE, Executive Vice Chairman and Co-founder of the Eden Project

Sir Tim Smit KBE was born in Holland on 25 September 1954. He read Archaeology and Anthropology at Durham University. Sir Tim worked for ten years in the music industry as composer/producer in both rock music and opera. In 1987 Sir Tim moved to Cornwall he and John Nelson together ‘discovered’ and then restored the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Sir Tim remains a Director of the gardens to the present day.

Sir Tim is Executive Chairman, Eden Regeneration Ltd, and co-founder of the award-winning Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall. Eden began as a dream in 1995 and opened its doors to the public in 2000, since when over 15 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 symbolic of human endeavour. Eden has contributed over £1 billion into the Cornish economy. Eden 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. It demonstrates once and for all that sustainability is not about sandals and nut cutlets, it is about good business practice and the citizenship values of the future. 

Sir 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. In 2002 he was awarded an Honorary CBE in the New Years Honours List and In January 2011 he was appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Her Majesty the Queen. This appointment was made substantive in June 2012 as he has become a British Citizen. He has received Honorary Doctorates and Fellowships from a number of universities. Sir Tim was voted ‘Great Briton of 2007’ in the Environment category of the Morgan Stanley Great Britons Awards.

In 2011 Sir Tim was given a special award at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, which recognises the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. Sir Tim has taken part in a quantity of 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, awards ceremonies and other events. Sir Tim is the author of books about both Heligan and Eden and he has contributed to publications on a wide variety of subjects. He lives in Lostwithiel, Cornwall and in his free time he enjoys reading, film, music and art.

Gordon Seabright, Eden Project Director

Before joining Eden, Gordon was Chief Executive of CTC, the national cycling charity.  Prior to that he was Acting Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society and Commercial Director of English Heritage.

During his time with CTC he introduced a new strategy, brought serving CTC members to the fore, and worked with governments across the UK to increase support for cycling.




David Harland, FCCA FCA, Eden Project Executive Director

David Harland joined Eden in January 2013 as Finance Director and is now an Executive Director for Eden with responsibility for the financial, educational, commercial and international development aspects of the project.  From September 2013 until June 2014, alongside Peter Stewart, he oversaw all operational aspects of Eden, as well as the refinancing and its commercial activities.  He was born and raised in St Austell, Cornwall, attending Mount Charles and Penrice Schools and then the University of Exeter, where he studied French and German. Following university, David joined Marks & Spencer on their financial graduate training scheme.

After a period qualifying as an accountant with EWS International Railways, David joined Priory Healthcare in 2003, holding a variety of senior financial positions over the following six years. Subsequently he became Group Finance Director of Care Management Group (a specialist in mental health and learning disabilities).

In 2011, he joined Enara Group, a domiciliary care provider, as Finance Director and was part of the successful management and private equity sale of the business to MITIE plc in late 2012 before venturing back to the South West to join Eden.


Peter Stewart MVO, Eden Project Executive Director

Peter Stewart joined Eden in 2003 supporting local businesses to get involved with the Project and went on to become Campaigns and Communications Director in 2008. Peter is now Executive Director with responsibility for Eden’s charitable mission.  This role includes responsibility for Eden’s biggest educational outreach campaign, The Big Lunch.  Alongside David Harland, from September 2013 to June 2014, Peter was responsible for all of Eden’s operations.

As well as running small businesses Peter previously spent over 10 years in the advertising industry working for British Leyland, J. Walter Thompson and BMP DDB, working with a variety of businesses including the Guardian, Knorr, National Dairy Council (milk), Courage (Fosters, Courage Best and John Smiths). In between JWT and BMP, Peter was also Account Director at Leo Burnett working on Proctor & Gamble, Philip Morris, Sanyo and Nestle (Crosse & Blackwell). 

Peter was appointed to the main Eden Board in March 2012. In the same year he was also awarded an MVO by HM The Queen for his work on the Diamond Jubilee, as The Big Lunch played a major part in the celebrations.


Tony Kendle, Creative Director, Eden Regeneration Ltd

Tony was part of the Development Team from 1996 but joined Eden full time in September 2000 and was appointed Foundation Director in October 2001.

As Foundation Director his responsibilities include strategic development of the meaning of the Project, overseeing the education programme (schools and public), science outreach and horticulture. Prior to joining Eden he was a staff member at the University of Reading School of Plant Sciences.

He has worked as a researcher and consultant, both in the UK and overseas, specialising in nature conservation, horticulture and the restoration of degraded lands.


Non-executive Directors

Helen Owers

Helen Owers' career spans 30 years in publishing, media and consulting. Until recently Helen was Chief Development Officer for Thomson Reuters Professional, with responsibility for the company's expansion in Rapidly Developing Economies. As President of Global Businesses for Thomson Reuters Legal, she ran a $600 million global division where she played a key role in the development of the online strategy and built new businesses in a number of emerging markets. Before joining Thomson Reuters, Helen worked as a consultant with Gemini Consulting, developing and implementing corporate and operational strategies and for Prentice Hall publishing where she ran the European publishing programme. Helen now has a number of non-executive and advisory roles. Helen has an MBA from IMD, Switzerland.



Andrew Peters

Andy was a partner at Deloitte LLP for 26 years until 2009, heading the regional reorganisation and restructuring business for much of that time. Since retiring from Deloitte he acts as expert witness in High Court litigation, mainly professional negligence matters, and is in the process of setting up a small London-based hedge fund. He lives in Cornwall.






Andrew Walmsley

Andrew co-founded i-level, the digital media agency that revolutionised the UK’s internet advertising market. Starting the business in 1999, he built it to over £100 million turnover, winning over 50 awards including agency of the year eight times and a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. He was named London Media Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young in 2006, and given the Chairman’s award by the Association of Online Publishers for outstanding contribution to the industry in 2007, selling the business to private equity in 2008 before moving on to develop interests in other ventures. For five years until 2011, he wrote a popular weekly column in Marketing magazine. He is now an active investor in early stage internet ventures, sitting on the board of several companies, including the Eden Project and the Advertising Association’s Credos board.



Geoffrey Wilkinson

Geoffrey Wilkinson was Chief Executive of the South West Regional Development Agency for five years until he retired in April 2006. Before this he was Managing Director of the Laird Group plc, a UK-based international manufacturing company. He served in this role from 1994 to 2001. Geoffrey previously worked for a number of organisations including the British Steel Corporation and Dillon Read Ltd. He was a Non-executive Director on the Court of the Bank of England between 2005 and 2009, and has been a Non-executive Director of the South West Strategic Health Authority since September 2006. He is also a member of the England Committee of the Big Lottery Fund.


The Eden Trustees

The Eden Trust is dedicated to breaking down the barriers to communication, encouraging the sharing of information and ideas with the widest possible audience. It catalyses collaboration in science, arts, technology and commerce, creating a constituency for change and then putting it into action.

Chairman of the Trustees Sir Anthony Salz

Sir Anthony was appointed a Trustee in December 2000. Until December 2005 he was Co-senior Partner of the international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Since 2006 he has been an Executive Vice Chairman at Rothschild, the international investment bank. Sir Anthony was Vice Chairman of the BBC between 2004 and 2006. He is a member of the Tate Gallery’s Corporate Advisory Group (Chairman from 1997 to 2002) and is a Trustee of the Tate Foundation. He is also a Trustee of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Scott Trust, the Royal Opera House, the Conran Foundation and the Media Standards Trust. He is a member of the Advisory Panel to The Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue and of the Advisory Board of Exeter University Business School. He co-chairs the Education and Employers Taskforce, an independent charity which promotes partnerships between schools and employers.




Lady Mary Holborow DCVO

Lady Mary Holborow was educated at Tudor Hall School, then in Paris. She worked in the Houses of Parliament until she moved to Cornwall in 1959. It was here that she became a JP, working actively as a magistrate until she took up the post of Lord-Lieutenant of the county (1994-2011).

Since retiring as Lord-Lieutenant she has become Chairman of the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, Chairman of Clean Cornwall, and a member of the Water Futures Panel of South West Water. She is also a Non-executive Consultant to her daughter’s PR business, Wild Card. Lady Mary is currently Patron or President of numerous charities, and a trustee of the Cornwall Community Foundation and the South West Lakes Trust.  

In the past she has been Vice-Chairman of the Cornwall Isles of Scilly Health Authority, on the Board of South West Water plc, and Chairman of the Rural Development Commission Cornwall Committee. She was also a Board member of Devon and Cornwall Training & Enterprise Council, and Chairman of the Further Education Funding Council Regional Committee. She was a founder Trustee of the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth and a Board member of University College Falmouth for eight years. Additionally, she has been a member of the Regional Board of TSB, Director of TSW Broadcasting, and a Governor of Truro School and Cornwall College.

Lady Mary has received several honorary degrees, including an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Exeter University (1997), an Honorary Doctorate of Business from Plymouth University (2010) and a Fellowship from University College Falmouth (2011).

In her spare time she enjoys being with her family and playing bridge and tennis.


Lucy Parker

Lucy Parker was appointed a Trustee in August 2007. She is Chair of the Talent and Enterprise Taskforce, set up by the Prime Minister in the autumn of 2007 to encourage and develop the many forms of talent and creativity needed for the future prosperity of Britain. Previously, Lucy was Chief Executive of Cantos Communications, a pioneer in online video communications for major corporates, with over a third of the FTSE100 amongst its clients and an established audience in financial institutions worldwide. In the early 1990s she founded Trinity Management Communications, specialising in executive coaching and leadership communications for business. She was a General Trainee with the BBC and spent 15 years as a documentary producer and director, including with the Community Programme Unit.

Lucy began her career as a teacher and performer in theatre-in-education. She founded Shiftwork, a documentary-theatre company which devised shows with young people telling their own story on stage at the Old Vic and the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith. Lucy is a graduate of Cambridge University and did a Masters degree at New York University in educational theatre and broadcasting on an ITT Scholarship. She was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study innovative theatre in Japan.



Sir Ghillean Prance

Sir Ghillean Prance FRS VMH is Eden's Scientific Director and a major contributor to the development of the Project. He is a former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a world authority on the flora and fauna of the rainforests.







Sir Simon Robertson

Sir Simon was appointed a Trustee in December 2000. He is Chairman of Rolls Royce plc and a Director of Berry Brothers & Rudd Ltd and the Economist Newspaper Ltd. He is also a Director of the Royal Opera House, a Trustee of the Royal Opera House Endowment and Chairman of Trustees of the Royal Academy of Arts Trust.







Sir John Rose

Sir John Rose is Deputy Chairman of Rothschild Continuation Holdings and a Senior Advisor to N M Rothschild & Sons Limited.

He joined Rolls Royce plc in 1984, was appointed to its Board of Directors in January 1992, and became Chief Executive on 1 May 1996. He retired at the end of March 2011.

Sir John sits on the boards of Hakluyt & Co., and BW Group and is an advisor to Greenbriar Equity Group LLC.  Amongst his charitable involvements he acts as Trustee to the Eden Project, the Baker Dearing Trust and is a Patron of Row2Recovery.  He is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Sir John was knighted in 2003, became a Commandeur de la Legion d’Honneur in 2008 and was awarded the Singapore Public Service Star in the same year.

Born in Blantyre, Malawi, Sir John earned his MA degree in Psychology from the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

He is married with three children.

Edward Benthall

For 21 years (1991 to 2012) Edward Benthall worked for Charterhouse Capital Partners, a long established and successful investment business specializing in private equity.  

He was Chairman of the Campaign Council (2005 to 2011) for the University of Cambridge’s 800th Anniversary Campaign. The Campaign raised a total of £1.2 billion.  From 2010 to 2014, he was Chairman of Cambridge Enterprise Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University whose main role is to help academics to commercialize their discoveries.  Edward is an active member of Cambridge Capital Group, a leading angel investing organisation.  

In 2013, Edward led the foundation of Cambridge Innovation Capital plc, of which he is Chairman.  CIC is an investment business focusing on early stage technology businesses in Cambridge.   The University is the largest shareholder in CIC.