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Until World War I, the estate gardens at Heligan were one of the glories of Cornwall, a botanist's paradise to rival Kew. When the Tremayne family abandoned the estate afterwards, they fell into neglect. Then, 70 years later, Tim Smit hacked his way in and fell under their spell.
Tim Smit was born in 1954 in Scheveningen, Holland, and educated in the UK. After graduating from Durham University he worked as a county archaeologist before spending ten years as a record producer and composer, successful in Europe, the USA and Japan. In 1987 he and his family moved to Cornwall where, with John Nelson, he was to discover Heligan.