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Eden Project plants 1400 trees thanks to marathon runners

Tree saplings have been planted for every runner who took part in the Eden Marathon and Half Marathon last October (2023).

The trees are made up of a variety of native species and ages, including oak, field maple, alder, silver and downy birch, hawthorn, wild cherry and crab apple. 

The initiative began in 2022 to provide a lasting legacy for the runners taking part, in addition to funds raised for individual charities. A total of 2,500 trees have been planted for the Eden Marathon to date.

The species of trees selected were based on the National Vegetation Classification’s (NVC) recommendation on woodland types for the region and will help broaden the diversity of trees and habitats on the surrounding Eden Project Estate. 

Phil Young, Horticulture Estate Manager at the Eden Project, said: “We’re incredibly lucky that surrounding the main Eden Project site we have close to 180 acres of Estate under our stewardship. We’re continually looking at ways to improve the biodiversity of these spaces.

“The Marathon tree planting is situated in a 5-acre area which historically was part of a disused china clay works and therefore at one time would have been fairly devoid of ecological diversity.”

The Eden Project Estate comprises woodlands and hedges, wildflower meadows and important botanical collections, criss-crossed by public footpaths, cycle routes and bridleways that the Eden Marathon and Half Marathon incorporates into its multi-terrain courses.

Entries are now open for this year's event, where participants will be contributing to the creation of new habitats, companion planting and enhancement of wildlife corridors surrounding the new woodland.

Doug Alsop, Race Director of the Eden Marathon, said: “More than a thousand runners take part in the Marathon each year, many raising vital funds for charities close to their hearts. We created the courses through Cornwall’s dramatic landscapes to showcase the beauty on our doorsteps. For entries to also contribute to improving our wild spaces is a wonderful thing that we hope all runners will be proud to be a part of.”

The Eden Marathon is jointly organised by the Eden Project and St Austell Running Club and is now in its 14th year. Regularly attracting runners from all over the world, the event sees participants taking on the challenge of multi-terrain courses, taking in mining heritage, breath-taking natural landscapes and finishing in front of the famous Biomes at the Eden Project.

Runners are rewarded with a beer and a pasty at the finish line, a themed medal and free entry for friends and family on the day.

The Eden Marathon and Half Marathon take place on Sunday, 20 October. Places start at £32, with entries closing on Monday, 30 September.

To find out more and to enter, visit www.edenproject.com.

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