Eden Project

Eden Project

  • State of the art design
  • Located in disused clay pits
  • Cutting edge displays and events
  • Excellent Restaurants, Cafes and Shop

The Eden Project was constructed in a 160-year-old exhausted china clay quarry at Bodelva, near St. Austell, in Cornwall. It was established as one of the Landmark Millennium Projects to mark the year 2000 in the UK.

While restoring the Lost Gardens of Heligan in the early 90s, Tim Smit became fascinated with stories that connected plants to people and brought them alive. He enlisted the help of Philip McMillan Browse (former Director of RHS Wisley and Horticultural Director of the Lost Gardens of Heligan) and Peter Thoday (former President of the Institute of Horticulture), to put together a team of expert horticulturalists with a touch of green guerrilla in them. To make the site better suited to people than to mountain goats they sliced 17 metres off the top to put in the bottom. It took six months to shift 1.8 million tonnes of dirt. Dodgy slopes were shaved to a safe angle and terraces created. Two thousand rock anchors, some 11 metres long, were driven into the pit sides to stabilise them, and a ‘soup’ of plant seed and fertiliser sprayed on the slopes to knit the surface together.

You could fit the Tower of London in the Rainforest Biome. The Guinness Book of Records heralds the Biomes as the biggest conservatories in the world. Building these ‘lean-to greenhouses’ on an uneven surface that changed shape was tricky: ‘bubbles’ were used because they can settle on any shaped surface – the architect got the idea while washing up!

Recently they’ve opened The Mechanical Theatre which sees puppets, robots and film bringing plant stories to life. They’ve also planted Seed, a 70-tonne granite sculpture and symbol of respect for the plant world. Seed sits at the heart of their exciting exhibition and education centre The Core, a building which is an exhibit in itself with the roof modelled on a sunflower.

Open every day apart from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 10am there is always something happening. During the summer months they run their Eden Sessions with live music from popular bands set against the backdrop of the illuminated biomes.

There is a large shop and restaurant and cafes both at the entrance level and down in the biomes. Full disabled access and mobility assistance is available.

Home » Places To Visit » Eden Project

Tel: 01726 811 911


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