The Eden Project
All photos by Neil Hooting / CC BY
The multi-award winning Eden Project near St. Austell in Cornwall and is consistently ranked as one of the top visitor attractions in the UK. This inspirational regeneration project sits in a huge man-made crater which was once an industrial clay pit. The mine was in use for over 160 years until the early 1990s.
Aside from the need to re-purpose the site, the Eden Project had a very important objective focused on environmental education. The whole centre is focused on explaining the interdependence of plants and people. The Eden Project aims to educate future generations about the importance of protecting our environment given the wider threats of over population, global warming, crop shortages and diminishing water supplies.
The Eden Project is dominated by two huge enclosures consisting of adjoining domes, each of which are home to thousands of plant species. Each of the two enclosures emulates a natural ‘biome’ (a community of plants and animals that have formed in response to a shared physical climate).
Eden’s biomes consist of hundreds of hexagonal and pentagonal, plastic cells which are supported by a steel sub-frame. Each of the plastic cells are inflated with air to preserve heat and create the optimal climate for plant growth. The larger of the two biomes is designed to simulate a tropical rainforest whereas the second emulates that of a Mediterranean climate.
The Eden project took 2½ years to build
The attraction opened in March 2001 and cost £140 million to build
The Tropical biome covers 1.56 hectares and is 55 metres high, 100 metres wide and 200 metres long
The Mediterranean biome is 0.65 hectares. It is 35 metres tall, 65 metres wide and 135 metres long
The Eden project is home to thousands of species of plants from coffee plants to rubber trees
The botanical garden (outside) is home to many plants and wildlife native to Cornwall and the UK
Standard tickets cost £27.50 for an adult and £14 for a child (5 to 16) if bought on the day. Children under 5 are admitted for free. Booked in advance however, the entry price drops to £25 for adults and £12.60 for children. Family tickets (booked in advance) cost £64 and are designed for families of two adults and two children.
Stay In Britain ‘Top Tips’
Stay In Britain, we welcome all initiatives which are designed to protect our precious planet. If you cycle, walk or take public transport to Eden, you can get discounted entry. To get your 15% off, just mention ‘Stay In Britain’ and provide a receipt on the day of travel for a valid journey (i.e. Eden for bus tickets; St Austell, Par, Luxulyan or Bugle for train tickets).
Also, be aware that annual passes cost the same as day passes. Consequently, if you think you would like to spend more than one day at this amazing attraction, this will be the best option for you. And be sure to look out for concerts within the complex. All sorts of artists have staged gigs at Eden from Gary Barlow to Massive Attack.