By Claire West
Caroline Spelman MP, the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will formally close the UK Pavilion on 31 October, the final day of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo
During the ceremony, Spelman will remove the first of the 60680 rods of the seed Cathedral — [this seed will then be presented by to a school in China next month.
Spelman's visit marks the start of the Pavilion's legacy project — which includes plans to disperse the seeds of UK's Dandelion across the country. The UK Pavilion hopes rods will be used in schools and academic institutions alongside educational materials so the next generation can understand the importance of protecting our biodiversity and sustainable development.
On arrival in Shanghai Spelman learnt that the UK pavilion has been awarded the prize for Top Pavilion and on hearing the news said:
'I'm delighted to be in Shanghai on the day that the UK pavilion at Expo is awarded the Top Pavilion prize. The innovative Thomas Heatherwick design, and our use of it as a venue for events promoting the UK, has been an outstanding success in many ways. We've highlighted the importance of biodiversity, we've challenged perceptions of Chinese visitors on their ideas about the UK and we've created a legacy that will ensure that our engagement and partnership with China will continue to grow. This award is also testament to everyone who worked on the project, both here and in the UK. But a special mention should go to the Shanghai team headed by Carma Elliot, Consul-General Shanghai for their tireless efforts in ensuring the pavilion was such a success. Everyone should be, as I am, immensely proud of what has been achieved.'