Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 08:30

A team of top scientists spent all night in tents suspended from the roof of the Eden Project's Rainforest Biome to help raise money for conservation in Borneo.

The group, who specialise in the science of the rainforest canopy, slept in the Biome in special illuminated hanging tents, known as portaledges, as part of The Big Canopy Campout.

The Big Canopy Campout saw climbers, adventurers and researchers camp in forests around the world on Saturday night to raise money for the charity World Land Trust to buy a piece of rainforest along the Kinabatangan River in North Borneo.

The Eden campers included Dr John Pike, founder of The Big Canopy Campout, Ollie Laker, who was responsible for the rope rigging on the second series of the BBC TV series Planet Earth, and adventurer and Wanderlust magazine editor Phoebe Smith.

John and Ollie, along with a colleague in Scotland, conceived and co-ordinated The Big Canopy Campout globally and were delighted to be able to co-ordinate it from high up in the Eden Rainforest on the night of the event. 

They were joined by rainforest scientist Dr Farnon Ellwood of the University of the West of England, Bristol, and his team of PhD students, Julian Donald and Josie Phillips, who have worked with Eden horticulturists in Borneo.

Completing the team were canopy scientist Stephanie Law from the University of Liverpool, Nina Seale from the World Land Trust and Eden rope access technicians Jamie Robson who organised the event together with Craig Lewis and estates team member Dave Paul. 

Other Eden staff members camped in tents and hammocks on the Biome walkways.

The London-based tree-tent company Tentsile supplied hammock tents in the lead-up to the event and Syd Howells from Tentsile took part in the camp.

Dr John Pike, who was a major player in the rope access and rigging for Planet Earth 1, said: "The Big Canopy Campout is about exciting, educating and inspiring people about rainforests so we thought Eden was the perfect place to come to coordinate this global event.

“Rainforests are under threat, partly because people aren’t able to experience them for themselves. The canopy environment is an amazing place and climbing in the canopy can change people’s lives, giving them a completely different view of what rainforests are and why they’re important."

The campers spent Saturday afternoon talking to Eden Project visitors about their work before their night in the canopy of the world’s biggest indoor rainforest.

For more information about the event see