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Published January 6th 2014
The living theatre of plants and people
Nestled in a restored clay quarry near St. Austell in Cornwall lies the Eden Project. Eden Project can best be described as an educational establishment, which emphasises the interdependence of plants and people and the value of sustainable living. It does have some elements of a theme park, however, this only adds to the overall enjoyment of the experience and aids the purpose of learning.
Eden project is dominated by two large enclosures made from plastic inflated hexagon shaped cells, which are held up by a steel framework. The architecture of these domes is fascinating enough but what lies enclosed in these futuristic structures is even more so. Plants from all around the world have been collected and over 1 million types have been planted here. The larger dome is the Rainforest Biome and the other the Mediterranean Biome.
Welcomed by a blast of heat as you enter this steamy biome, you are instantly transported to the tropics. In order to remain environmentally friendly, the large amounts of water needed to create these humid conditions are provided by sanitised rainwater.
Within the rainforest biome lies a jungle adventure to explore where you will discover the role rainforests play in keeping us alive and what we can do to preserve them. This is the largest rainforest in captivity and the best views are from the top via the Rainforest Aerial Walkway where you will walk amongst the treetops and have the opportunity to take in the spectacular views of this man-made rainforest.
In this biome you'll find a number of tropic plants such as banana, rubber, coffee and cashew trees as well as a magnificent waterfall and a traditional Malaysian hut surrounded by a paddy field and vegetable garden. In fact, this biome is so large that it could even fit the Tower of London inside it.
Baobab Juice bar which serves up fresh tropical smoothies is also located inside the rainforest biome.
Stroll along the mosaic path and explore the wild landscapes of the Mediterranean, South Africa and California inside the Mediterranean Biome. The Mediterranean Biome is home to over 1,000 types of plant with the temperatures inside the biome ranging from 9 degrees centigrade in winter to 25 degrees Celsius in summer.
Here you can take a sensory journey through nature's kitchen where you can meander past olive groves, lemon trees and many other colourful fruits and vegetables. In spring, the pathways are lined with tulips and South African proteas also make an appearance in the summer months.
The South African section of the Mediterranean Biome
The section of Eden Project known as "The Core" is home to a number of interactive displays and exhibitions that help communicate Eden's central message about the relationship between people and plants.
This robot is made out of recycled electronic appliances
Along with the eateries within the biome, there is also another canteen serving seasonal and fresh food, made using local produce where possible. The canteen has an open kitchen so you can see the food being prepared before you. Food caters for all dietary needs including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diets.
Adrenaline junkies might choose to take in the amazing views of Eden Project from a different perspective by flying across on a zip line known as the Skywire.
Eden Project also plays host to a number of events throughout the year including evening gigs, concerts, Halloween and summer events and an ice rink in the winter. All events are advertised on the Eden Project website.
Eden project is an educational registered charity (No. 1093070). All money raised goes to educational programmes and projects that catalyse change.
Overall Eden Project is a memorable day out for people of all ages. For kids, it's great fun and a fantastic way to learn. For adults, it opens your eyes to the difference we can make to change things for the better by making small changes in our everyday life.