Sir Tim Smit KBE 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. His best-selling book, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, is an account of the discovery and restoration of the mysterious estate that time forgot.
Sir Tim is Executive Vice-Chairman, and Co-founder of the award-winning Eden Project in Cornwall. He is a trustee, patron and board member of a number of statutory and voluntary bodies both locally and nationally. He has been awarded honorary doctorates and fellowships by a number of universities, and his national awards include The Royal Society of Arts Albert Medal (2003); ‘Great Briton of 2007’ in the Environment category of the Morgan Stanley Great Britons Awards; and a special award at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (2011), which recognises the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. He regularly broadcasts on TV and radio, and has been the subject both of ‘This is Your Life’ and ‘Desert Island Discs’.