Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 14:00

The Eden Project is seeking a new head of its world-famous global garden for the first time in 13 years.

The successful applicant for the Head of Gardens position will be in charge of a 40-strong team and lead the development of horticulture at the 35-acre home of the Rainforest and Mediterranean  Biomes near St Austell in Cornwall.

The post is vacant due to the departure of Eden’s Head of Horticulture Don Murray, who is returning to his homeland  Scotland to take up the newly-created role of Head of Island Landscapes and Horticulture with Mount Stuart Trust, Isle of Bute.

Eden has attracted more than 17 million visitors since opening in a former china clay quarry in 2001.

Among a multitude of awards, it was acclaimed last November as Best UK Leisure Attraction for a record-breaking fourth year running at the prestigious British Travel Awards.  The award is by public vote.

Gordon Seabright, The Director of the Eden Project, said that the post of  Head of Gardens has to be one of the most exciting and challenging in the world of horticulture.

He said:  “With the 15th anniversary of the first plantings approaching, Eden has set itself big new challenges to promote our great garden.  As the Eden garden matures and develops, we want to attract many more people to the wider reaches of the outdoors and draw in more traditional garden visitors.

“To achieve this we are planning a series of projects aimed at transforming large swathes of the garden. With a parallel programme to re-invigorate exhibits, Eden will highlight the garden’s compelling stories, connecting all of us with the living world.”

The new Head of Gardens will manage horticultural operations across the whole site. He or she will oversee the daily management of an expert team of both hands-on horticulturists and specialists, together with a science team and Eden’s nursery and quarantine operation, ensuring content is to the highest standards.

Gordon Seabright added:  “The winning candidate will be passionate about horticulture and leading a team that can deliver world-class standards.   He or she will play a key role in developing the horticultural landscape at Eden in conjunction with our core values and objectives, moving Eden forward to be fit and successful for the decades to come.”

He paid tribute to the great contribution made by Don Murray in transforming the once-sterile pit into Eden’s celebrated  living theatre of plants and people: “Over many years Don has led our acclaimed green team and played a vital role in transforming Eden into the amazing gardens that we all know and love.

“He will be much missed by colleagues both within horticulture and the wider Eden team, having been so much a part of Eden for such a long period.  We wish Don every success and happiness on his journey back to his homeland of Scotland and for the future.”