Surviving tropical plants to be saved

HUNDREDS of tropical plants saved from the Center Parcs inferno at Elveden are expected to be replanted.Although all the exotic species in the Elveden's sub-tropical swimming paradise suffered smoke and heat damage hundreds remained intact in storage.

By Amanda Cresswell

HUNDREDS of tropical plants saved from the Center Parcs inferno at Elveden are expected to be replanted.

Although all the exotic species in the Elveden's sub-tropical swimming paradise suffered smoke and heat damage hundreds remained intact in storage.

It was originally thought 200 tropical plants survived the blaze but today the figure was as high as 500.

They were transported from the 400-acre site at Elveden to Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest yesterday.

Chartered landscape architect, Mark Waller, worked closely with Center Parcs' tropical plant specialist Jean Henkens who was flown in from Holland to examine the specimens.

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Surviving plants included dwarf date palms, areka palms, aspidistras and peace lilies.

They escaped the blaze because they were stored in an office on the side of the plaza undamaged by fire.

Mr Waller, said: "I saw the damage there so I was delighted several plants survived the fire and will be replanted at Sherwood Forest tomorrow or in the next couple of days in the swimming pool area and restaurant."

The swimming pool area is kept at a constant temperature of 29.1 C – an ideal temperature for the plants.

Thousands of holiday-makers were forced to flee the 400-acre site on April 4 after an inferno ripped through the Plaza destroying shops, restaurants, the sports hall and ten pin bowling alley.

Meanwhile, the cause of the blaze at Elveden is still under investigation.

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