Plant expert arrives at Center Parcs

A EUROPEAN tropical plant expert has been flown into Britain to check damage at Center Parcs wrecked holiday village.Center Parcs biologist Jean Henkins flew from Holland to assess the condition of dozens of exotic plants in the sub-tropical swimming paradise at Elveden's beleaguered leisure complex.

By Amanda Cresswell

A EUROPEAN tropical plant expert has been flown into Britain to check damage at Center Parcs wrecked holiday village.

Center Parcs biologist Jean Henkins flew from Holland to assess the condition of dozens of exotic plants in the sub-tropical swimming paradise at Elveden's beleaguered leisure complex.

Mr Henkins was today working alongside a planting team to view the condition of species such as Fish Tail, Weeping Fig, Date Palm and Hibiscus Palms.

Thousands of holiday-makers were forced to flee the 400 acre site last week after an inferno ripped through the Plaza destroying shops, restaurants, the sports hall and ten pin bowling alley.

But while the fire gutted most of the village's main complex it left the showpiece sub-tropical swimming paradise intact – which houses dozens of exotic plants.

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Sarah Farley, speaking on behalf of Center Parcs, confirmed Mr Henkin's arrival and said:

"Mr Henkins will assess the condition of the plants. He is at Elveden at the moment with the landscape architect and we won't know for the next few days the extent of the plant damage."

The swimming paradise was kept at the constant temperature of 29.5 C.

But with many of the plants exposed to British temperatures it was uncertain whether any had survived.

Mr Henkins has responsibility for new planting at the 13 sites across Europe including Center Parc's De Eemhof in Holland which recently reopened after a massive fire two years ago destroyed the resorts village centre.

Meanwhile, the cause of the blaze at Elveden is still under investigation and won't be known at least until Friday.

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