Date: 
Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 11:53

More than 100 children whose own school was flooded out got their skates on today to re-open the ice rink at the Eden Project.

The pupils from Pondhu Primary School in nearby St Austell enjoyed the first skate on the rink since it was put out of action for a month due to the flood.

The rink was among several areas of the Eden site hit by the flood on November 17 which affected hundreds of businesses and households in mid Cornwall.

Eden was closed to visitors for a week as staff worked around the clock to repair damaged areas.

The rink was one of the worst affected areas but after major repairs and testing, it will fully re-open to visitors again tomorrow (Friday, December 17) - a month after the flood.

To mark the occasion, Eden invited 120 children aged seven to 11 from Pondhu Primary to have a free skate as a curtain-raiser to the big re-opening.

The school was also badly affected by the flood and was closed for a week.

Eden’s managing director Gaynor Coley said: “Tomorrow (Friday) will be one month to the day since the big flood in mid Cornwall which affected so many people in their homes, businesses and schools.

"It has taken us that amount of time to get our ice rink back up and running again. We thought there could be no better way to mark this occasion than to welcome children from one of our local schools which suffered a deluge on November 17, just as we did.

"It has been brilliant that the children of Pondhu Primary School have been able to have a great day out exploring Eden and having a whale of a time on the rink.”

David Badger, deputy headteacher at Pondhu, said: “This has been a real treat and fantastic for the children.

“Our school was flooded out and had to be closed for a week. We’ve since been in borrowed accommodation for some of our lessons.

“The Eden Project suffered with flooding as well so they are really kind to invite us in for this free skating session.”

Pupil Megan Adrien, nine, said: “It has been really fun ice-skating. It was hard when we were flooded at school. We had to go into the council offices for some of our lessons.”

First Devon & Cornwall and Truronian Holidays provided free coaches to transport the children to Eden.

The pupils enjoyed a walk around the Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes before taking to the ice.

The first skate for visitors tomorrow (Friday, December 17) is at 11am with 40-minute sessions happening on the hour until 8pm. A skate costs £5 on top of the entry fee.

For all bookings, ticket prices and full opening times for skating and more over the Christmas period, visit www.edenproject.com or ring the Box Office on 01726 811972.