South West What's On

Minibeast Mansion at Eden Project

Children visiting the Eden Project are enjoying a fabulous bug’s-eye view of the world with the opening of the new Minibeast Mansion play tower on Friday July 26.

Under-tens can clamber, creep, crawl and slide through the hexagonal wooden structure and explore its intricate compartments.

Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Mediterranean Biome, the Minibeast Mansion is the biggest single piece of play equipment yet to be installed at the world-famous global garden.

The tower opening coincides with the launch this week of  Eden’s summer programme Earth Story, transporting people to a world of wonder and leading them on a journey through Earth’s astonishing past, precarious present day – and a future that’s ours to make.

Situated next to the tower is a real “insect hotel” – a new wooden structure with a series of habitats for visiting pollinators and other beneficial minibeasts.

Eden’s Director of Interpretation Dr Jo Elworthy said: “We’re delighted to have this beautiful new outdoor play area. It’s central to Eden’s mission in that it provides rich contact with nature and helps children’s health and wellbeing. For the children – first and foremost – it is tremendous fun.”

Jo added:  “I’m so proud of the team who have worked really hard making this stunning structure. It has all been designed by the inhouse team led by Design Makers Elly Voisin and Dan Johnson. It’s one of a kind and works on so many different levels. The team wanted to explore ‘wild play’ for children, as well as introduce little ones to the subject of pollination.”

Elly Voisin said: “First of all we looked at the shapes of beehives but after researching into this further, it was apparent bees are only the tip of the great beneficial minibeast brigade so we widened our scope to minibeasts, a subject close to the hearts of the under-tens.

“We decided to turn the subject on its head by giving children the chance to be minibeasts themselves, crawling into their own giant bug hotel - and so the Minibeast Mansion was born!”

A number of wheelchair accessible features are included in the new play area, including a raised sandpit.

As part of the summer event Earth Story, visitors can also head to the Eden Field Base to meet a majestic mountain gorilla, and hear his incredible story.

Elsewhere they can marvel at the magical Cabinet of Consequence, a stunning showcase of the intricate web of life that connects us all, as well as coming face to face with a giant armadillo and other megafauna in the Lost Giants Safari, an incredible Virtual Reality Zone. 

Exploring Wild Britain, they can discover the forgotten animals that roamed freely around our landscapes in the past – and find out about some that are making a comeback. 

Visitors can hear about the plants and animals on the brink of being lost forever, and be inspired by people and projects from around the world that are working to save them. 

Families can take on the Beach Clean Up challenge to uncover what might be lurking in the sand, follow a trail to discover weird and wonderful plants and animals from across the globe, and join the Eden storytellers for a trip to a very unusual Library.

For more information on Eden’s summer event, Earth Story, visit https://www.edenproject.com/visit/whats-on/summer-holidays-earth-story

 

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