Tim Smit, Director of the Eden Project, to deliver inaugural "Gerard Le Claire Environmental Lecture"

The Gerard Le Claire Environmental Trust has been fortunate to secure Tim Smit, Co-Founder and Director of the Eden Project to deliver its inaugural lecture in what will become an annual Island event.

Tim Smit has an outstanding reputation and is most well known for his work on the remarkable Eden Project (www.edenproject.com), the mission of which is "to promote the understanding and responsible management of the vital relationship between plants, people and resources leading to a sustainable future for all."

The £86 million Eden Project, combines a visitor attraction, education centre and scientific institution and has attracted over 2 million visitors in its first year of opening. Eden's latest independent economic impact data shows a projected contribution of £160 million to Cornwall's economy. In the next ten years, if the current successes continue, Eden's aim is to encourage additional revenues of £2 billion to the county.

The inaugural Gerard Le Claire Environmental Lecture will take place at The Arts Centre on Thursday, 30th January 2003 and will be followed by a dinner at Chateau La Chaire for invited guests. The Trustees are interested in talking to organisations with a commitment to high environmental standards that wish to sponsor the dinner. We expect that many policy makers and business leaders will be attending.

Sarah Le Claire, Chair of the Trust, said "The Trustees are honoured that Mr. Smit has agreed to deliver the inaugural Gerard Le Claire Environmental Lecture. It is appropriate that the first, in what we hope will become a series of influential talks, will be given by the Director of the Eden Project as Gerard had read a lot about the Project and been very impressed by Mr Smit's vision and passionate drive to make a dream a reality. The Trustees believe that many people in the Island will be fascinated by this inspirational talk and encourage people to buy tickets in advance so as not to be disappointed."

Tickets, priced at £12 (concessions £8), are available now from The Arts Centre box office.

For more information contact: Sarah Le Claire, Chair of the Board of Trustees, mob. 07797 713965

Notes to Editors

The Gerard Le Claire Environmental Trust was launched in October 2001, following the untimely death of the Jersey's Environmental Director in January 2001. The aim of the Trust is to enable people to advance a range of policies and practices that sustain the environmental riches of the Island of Jersey and our planet for the benefit of this and future generations. Anyone wishing to donate to the Trust can write to PO Box 660, Jersey JE4 5ZP.

Brief Biography - Tim Smit CBE

Born 25 September 1954 in the fishing village of Scheveningen outside The Hague in Holland.

Educated in Britain at Vinehall and Cranbrook Schools.

B.A. Archaeology/Anthropology at Durham University and worked for 2 years as an Archaeologist in NE England.

Worked for ten years in the music industry as composer/producer in both rock music and opera, involved in 7 platinum and gold discs.

Moved to Cornwall in 1987 with his wife Candy and three children, Alex, Sam and Laura to build a recording studio. Met his partner, John Nelson and together they 'discovered' and then restored 'The Lost Gardens of Heligan' and Tim remains a Director to the present day.

The Gardens now receive over 300,000 visitors a year and is the most visited private garden in the UK. It was voted 'Garden of the Year 1995' by Country Life and 'Garden of the Year&' by the Good Guide to Britain in 2000. Tim's book, "The Lost Gardens of Heligan" was "Illustrated Book of the Year 1997" at the British Book Awards and headed the Sunday Times Best-sellers Lists for several months before going on to become an international success. The 10 part Documentary of the same name won the Garden Documentary of the Year Award in 1998. Tim has subsequently written two further books, "Secrets Locked in Silence" (1998) and "The Heligan Vegetable Bible" (2000) with Philip McMillan Browse. Heligan are now commissioning a Birdwatch Project to include the wetlands and natural habitats surrounding the formal gardens.

He is Chief Executive and co-founder of the Eden Project, near St Austell in Cornwall. This is a new scientific institution combined with a visitor attraction dedicated to promoting the understanding of human dependence on plants. It houses the largest conservatories in the World, set inside a 34 acre, 200ft deep clay pit and has attracted more than 1.7M visitors to date (December 2001).

Tim is also on the Board of the Prince's Trust Business Division, a member of the Cornwall Gardens Trust, and a Director of Kneehigh Theatre. He recently chaired The Landscape Heritage Trust's feasibility study of urban parks and gardens throughout the UK and presented their findings to the Government Select Committee on the Environment. He is also on the Board of Cornwall's South West Development Group and Patron of Royal Cornwall Hospital's Sunrise Appeal.

In 2000 Tim was given the "Outstanding Contribution to Tourism in the UK" Award by the English Tourism Council.

In 2001 Tim received an Alchemist Award in May and the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award - Southern Region in June. A Catey Award for Tourism followed this in July. Tim was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Exeter University.

In November 2001 Tim's most recent book "Eden" was published by Bantam Press. This details the story of the Eden Project: its genesis in the Lost Gardens of Heligan and its design and construction against the odds.

In January 2002 Tim was awarded an Honorary CBE in the New Year's Honours List.

In his free time, Tim enjoys reading, film and being the occasional 'roadie' for his son's rock band.

Press Release - Tim Smith

© 2003 Copyright Gerard Le Claire Environmental Trust