Heartlands Open

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The new 19 acre free visitor attraction and World Heritage Site set in Cornwall’s former industrial mining heart has opened. Heartlands, the UK’s first cultural playground, opened its doors to the public on Friday 20 April 2012 with a three-day celebration themed on Cornish myth and legend. Based on former derelict mine land at Robinson’s Shaft in the village of Pool (near Redruth), it is hoped the £35 million development, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, Cornwall Council, Homes and Communities Agency and the European Union will support the regeneration of Pool, Redruth and Camborne – an area containing over 10% of the Cornish population which has struggled to recover since the closure of the tin and copper mining industry.

Hugo Bugg Landscapes were commissioned in 2009 to be part of the multidisciplinary design team responsible for designing the Heartlands landscape and Pool village green, alongside Land Use Consultants and Cornwall County Council’s Environmental Engineering Team.

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With sensory gardens, lakes, water features, and nature trails, the ever-changing landscape at Heartlands is a paradise for nature lovers and gardeners. The gardens and planting at Heartlands are carefully designed to reflect Cornwall’s ecology, heritage and culture. Vibrant and exotic plant species from South America, Australia and Africa reflect the historic migration of Cornish mining pioneers around the world, while traditional Cornish stonewalls and native plants provide sheltered habitats for local wildlife. Sustainable gardening methods, innovative rain recycling systems and community gardening projects will all be seen in action, and leafy outdoor classrooms, sculpture gardens and performance spaces among the trees will provide plenty of food for fertile imaginations. Heartlands will be a spectacular, free playground for visitors of all ages, all year round. With one of the largest children’s adventure areas in the South West, gardens, lakes and fountains, nature trails and parkland, plus links to cycling routes for those keen to discover the surrounding countryside, exploring the heart of Cornwall couldn’t be more fun The free attraction will be run as a social enterprise by the charity, the Heartlands Trust and includes:

• Cornish Mining World Heritage Site state-of-the art exhibitions

• Restored Engine House with 80” Beam Engine (the last Cornish engine to work on a Cornish mine)

• Biggest Adventure Playground in Cornwall (themed on Cornish myth and history)

• Diaspora Botanical Gardens (relating to the countries that the Cornish have emigrated to)

• Red River Café and Bar

• Art and Craft studios

• Chi an Bobel (large community, conference and function hall)

• Totem Circle (small amphitheatre for music, dance and theatre performances)

• Market Square

• Events Bowl (for large scale outdoor festivals)

• Interactive art installations including graffiti-me totem poles and Red River paddling stream

• 19 one and two-bedroomed sustainable homes

• Biomass boiler, photo voltaics, rain-harvesting system and wind turbine

• Year-round programme of events