Daredevil couple Helen Glover and Steve Backshall warmed up in the tropical heat of the Eden Project today (Friday March 31) in advance of their epic paddle in aid of the Borneo rainforest.  

This Easter, Olympic champion rower Helen and top TV wildlife presenter Steve will be kayaking 125 miles non-stop from Devizes in Wiltshire to the Houses of Parliament at Westminster in the classic DW race.

They are racing to raise funds to protect a section of rainforest in Malaysian Borneo, saving it from being cut down to make way for oil palm plantations and safeguarding a wealth of threatened wildlife. 

They got a taste for the heat and humidity of the rainforest at Eden by hauling a two-seater kayak through the treetops over the new Canopy Rope Bridge and Cloud Bridge, part of the Weather Maker section of the Rainforest Canopy Walkway.

With the big race two weeks way, Steve said: “We're putting ourselves through hell training for it but it's all for a very good cause. 

“World Land Trust are helping us buy a section of Bornean rainforest, saving it for the Proboscis Monkeys, the Orang-utans, the Pygmy Elephants and all the other astounding animals that live there. From the cicadas that deafen you at dusk, to the fireflies that light up the riverside like a thousand Christmas trees, this place is paradise. Let’s work together to protect it, forever.”

Helen said: “Saving the rainforest is a really big mission so we’ve set ourselves a really big task – paddling 125 miles down the River Thames. The Eden rainforest is a great place to let people know what we are doing to save a rainforest on the other side of the world.”

More about the project and the World Land Trust: http://www.worldlandtrust.org/news/2017/02/steve-backshall-helen-glover-...

Steve and Helen leapt at the chance to come to the Eden Project because of the vital work the Project does on rainforests, including in Borneo: http://www.edenproject.com/media/2017/01/common-houseplant-could-hold-ke...

Dr Jo Elworthy of the Eden Project said:  “Helen and Steve’s project with the World Land Trust is a great fit not only with our work in Borneo but also all the stories we tell about the vital relationship between the tropical rainforest, biodiversity, climate and weather.”

As part of this work, Eden is now giving visitors the chance to trek across the aerial rope bridge, shelter from tropical rain and travel through clouds with the opening of the Weather Maker.

It has been developed with academic support from the University of Exeter and the Met Office.  

For more information on the Weather Maker go to http://www.edenproject.com/visit/whats-here/rainforest-biome/rainforest-...




March 31, 2017


Picture caption:

Olympic champion rower Helen Glover and TV wildlife presenter Steve Backshall visit the Cloud Bridge at the Eden Project ahead of their epic kayak race in aid of the Borneo rainforest.  


Video: To see a video of Helen Glover and Steve Backshall at Eden, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfEqagiMYWY&feature=youtu.be