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The Voices of The Lost Garden

‘Voices of The Lost Gardens’: An immersive educational experience giving nature a voice

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are very excited to introduce their brand new immersive educational and entertaining experience, ‘Voices of The Lost Gardens’ which will delight visitors of all ages.

The brainchild of audio producer Annabel Ross - creator of  Messages from the Wild, these bite-sized interviews with animals and plants, are a slightly different approach to learning more about them, and to understanding their perspective on their environment. Each creature and plant will be given a voice by a well-known personality, with the line-up including Dame Judy Dench, Jimmy Doherty, Adam Henson and Hannah Stitfall.

Visitors are invited to step into a shepherd hut situated in the Lost Valley. Once inside, they are to take a seat, shut the curtains, get comfy and listen to the voices from The Lost Gardens. What will you learn today, and which will be your favourite?

These brief “conversations” are intended to be educational, as well as entertaining and amusing. They are aimed at both adults and children as a way of providing a new perspective on wildlife, in the hope that they will feel more knowledgeable, and in turn, more respectful towards wildlife in general. There is something about listening to these recordings with animals and plants in the “first person” that grabs the attention of listeners and somehow, also helps them to retain the information more easily, especially the funny bits!

These interviews, with some of nature’s most important creatures, scaling from tallest to tiniest, underground and overground dwellers, to nocturnal and hibernating species, will introduce our listeners to a secret life and often hidden perspective of what lives around us, and highlighting the worrying decline in many of these species. All the characters have expertise, skills, jobs and stories to share that will intrigue and capture the imagination of listeners, and change their relationship with them. They are all asked just the one same question "If you had a message for us, what would it be?” We are sure these messages will stay with those that listen and help form a new or strengthened connection with the wild.

Visitors will be introduced to 4 new characters, each season, with the summer interviews launching on 11 June.

SUMMER: 11 June – 4 September 2022

  • The Red Admiral Butterfly   Jeremy Roberts, Three Bays Wildlife Group
  • The Buff-Tailed Bumblebee  Jimmy Doherty   Entomologist and TV Presenter
  • The Pipistrelle Bat  Rick Payne  Cornwall Bat Groups
  • The North Devon Bullock  Adam Henson  Rare Breed Farmer and TV Presenter

AUTUMN: 5 September – 2 December

  • The Shire Horse  Keith Trickey The Cornish Heavy Horse Society
  • The Berkshire Pig  Jimmy Doherty  Rare Breeds Farmer and TV Presenter
  • The Hedgehog Hannah Stitfall  TV Presenter
  • The Earthworm  Alasdair Moore Head of Gardens & Estate, Heligan

WINTER: 3 December - 3 March 2023

  • The Mole   Sam CorfieldAuthor & Wildlife Coordinator, Heligan
  • The Exmoor Pony  Adam Henson  Rare Breed Farmer and TV Presenter
  • The Oak Tree  Dame Judi Dench  Actress and Tree Enthusiast
  • The Beaver Eva Bishop The Beaver Trust

SPRING: 4 March - 31 May 2023

  • The Longwool Sheep and her lamb   Pippa Coard & Louis Duddridge    Rare Breed Farm Park Team, Heligan
  • The Seven Spot Ladybird  Laura Larkin   Bug Life
  • The Bluebell  Nicola Bradley  Head Gardener, Heligan
  • The Red Squirrel  David Mills MBE   Founder The British Wildlife Centre

Notes for Editors:


  • The ‘Voices of the Lost Gardens’ listening experience is to be operated on a self-led, first come first served basis, included within garden entry ticket. The experience will begin on 11th June, introducing our summer interviews.
  • All interviews are bespoke interviews created for the sole use of The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Each character is interviewed as a resident of The Heligan Garden & Estate.
  • All experts gave of their time freely, (except for the interviewer) with no incentive, contract, or fee, purely to give their creature of choice a voice within this creative and engaging project.
  • The shepherds huts were built by Dorset Shepherd Huts (
  • Heligan have plans to collaborate with local schools on an educational programme utilising the interviews as a learning resource for primary school age children.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan were rediscovered from the brambles of time by Tim Smit and John Willis, who were the catalysts for a 30 year project that continues to this day.  Heligan remains one of the most loved and romantic gardens in the UK, appreciated as much for its beauty and mystery as for the ground breaking restoration project.
Over 200 acres are now a paradise for the explorer, wildlife, plant lover and garden romantic. Victorian Productive Gardens and Pleasure Grounds beckon, along winding paths laid out over two centuries ago. The Jungle takes you on a sub-tropical journey through bamboo tunnels and under majestic tree ferns, giant rhubarb, and bananas whilst the estate reveals a lost world of traditional and rare breeds, wildlife and ancient woodlands.
Heligan is a garden for all seasons, so whether you plan to visit in the hazy buzz of mid-summer, or the tranquillity of winter, you are guaranteed a unique experience.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan is a member of The Great Gardens of Cornwall, a group of the finest Cornwall gardens. Open 364 days a year, pre-booking is essential at this time.