Date: 
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 14:45

The wonder of wildflowers will be coming to the Eden Project this summer with mass displays around the gardens and approaches.

Grand displays of the UK’s best known wildflowers including poppies, cornflowers, daisies and corn marigolds outside the famous Biomes at Eden’s site in Cornwall will mark an exciting new chapter as the National Wildflower Centre (NWC) joins the project as part of its Life Sciences Agenda.

Eden now owns the NWC and the centre has relocated to Cornwall. New programmes are being devised with the bold aims of reversing ecological decline and bringing wildflowers back into the UK’s living culture.

This is a response to the challenge of the world’s sixth great extinction, showing how policy can be changed and challenging what “green infrastructure” is in the modern world.

The NWC is establishing creative conservation projects in urban and rural areas across the country and using wildflowers as a conduit for new cultural ecology projects. Above all the aim is to use wildflowers to bring biodiversity, delight and colour into the lives of communities, bridging social divides and stereotypes.

A new facility is being established at Eden, including seed cleaning and seed storage facilities. The aim is to build up living seed banks, and work with other advocates to display and incorporate this legacy into the UK’s urban and rural landscapes.

This links to the NWC’s conservation work for rare plants in the South West of England, and “flowerhouse energies” through projects and seed production North and South.

The NWC will be holding a celebratory day with partners the World Museum in Liverpool tomorrow (Thursday) to promote the role of wildflowers in urban landscapes. The official NWC launch will be held at Eden on July 10.

Mike Maunder, Eden’s Director of Life Sciences, said: “The National Wildflower Centre is a key part of Eden’s conservation agenda. While we work globally, it is vital that we are actively involved in the conservation of the UK and Cornwall’s natural resources.

“By bringing back the wildflowers we initiate a wonderful regenerative process that supports hosts of other species and brings delight to thousands of people.”

NWC Director Richard Scott said: “We have worked with Eden as like-minded partners for many years. We were always proud to take the stage at the ‘Living Theatre of Plants and People.’

“Now that we are part of Eden, with our combined expertise we have a great opportunity to champion wildflower landscapes and reverse the massive decline in biodiversity everywhere we can.

“Andy Warhol said ‘Land really is the best art.’ We aim to prove it, and link to art, science and culture in new ways, to surprise and delight and bring positive change.”

The National Wildflower Centre opened in 2000 as a Millennium Project, providing a charitable visitor attraction, educational facility and conference and function venue in Court Hey Park, in the Knowsley borough of Merseyside.

The re-establishment of the NWC at Eden was generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Charitable Trust.

For more information on the NWC, email Richard Scott, Director of the National Wildflower Centre, on rscott@edenproject.com.