Eden Project

Eden Project

The Eden Project (Cornish: Edenva) is a visitor attraction in Cornwall, England, UK. The project is located in a reclaimed china clay pit, located 2 km (1.2 mi) from the town of St Blazey and 5 km (3 mi) from the larger town of St Austell.

The complex is dominated by two huge enclosures consisting of adjoining domes that house thousands of plant species, and each enclosure emulates a natural biome. The biomes consist of hundreds of hexagonal and pentagonal ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) inflated cells supported by geodesic tubular steel domes. The larger of the two biomes simulates a rainforest environment (and is the largest indoor rainforest in the world) and the second, a Mediterranean environment. The attraction also has an outside botanical garden which is home to many plants and wildlife native to Cornwall and the UK in general; it also has many plants that provide an important and interesting backstory, for exa...Read more

The Eden Project (Cornish: Edenva) is a visitor attraction in Cornwall, England, UK. The project is located in a reclaimed china clay pit, located 2 km (1.2 mi) from the town of St Blazey and 5 km (3 mi) from the larger town of St Austell.

The complex is dominated by two huge enclosures consisting of adjoining domes that house thousands of plant species, and each enclosure emulates a natural biome. The biomes consist of hundreds of hexagonal and pentagonal ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) inflated cells supported by geodesic tubular steel domes. The larger of the two biomes simulates a rainforest environment (and is the largest indoor rainforest in the world) and the second, a Mediterranean environment. The attraction also has an outside botanical garden which is home to many plants and wildlife native to Cornwall and the UK in general; it also has many plants that provide an important and interesting backstory, for example, those with a prehistoric heritage.

There are plans to build an Eden Project North in the seaside town of Morecambe, Lancashire, with a focus on the marine environment.

 
Driftwood sculpture of a horse by Heather Jansch,[1] from the main entrance
 
Eden Project sculpture Made from the detritus of modern living—the teeth are computer mice
 
Eve, by Sue and Pete Hill, shaped from the soil

The clay pit in which the project is sited was in use for over 160 years.[2] In 1981, the pit was used by the BBC as the planet surface of Magrathea in the TV series the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.[3] By the mid-1990s the pit was all but exhausted.[4]

The initial idea for the project dates back to 1996, with construction beginning in 1998. The work was hampered by torrential rain in the first few months of the project, and parts of the pit flooded as it sits 15 m (49 ft) below the water table.[4]

The first part of the Eden Project, the visitor centre, opened to the public in May 2000. The first plants began arriving in September of that year,[4] and the full site opened on 17 March 2001.

To counter criticism from environmental groups, the Eden Project committed to investigate a rail link to the site.[5] The rail link was never built, and car parking on the site is still funded from revenue generated from general admission ticket sales.

The Eden Project was used as a filming location for the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day. On 2 July 2005 The Eden Project hosted the "Africa Calling" concert of the Live 8 concert series. It has also provided some plants for the British Museum's Africa garden.

In 2005, the Project launched "A Time of Gifts" for the winter months, November to February. This features an ice rink covering the lake, with a small café-bar attached, as well as a Christmas market. Cornish choirs regularly perform in the biomes.

In 2007, the Eden Project campaigned unsuccessfully for £50 million in Big Lottery Fund money for a proposed desert biome.[6][7] It received just 12.07% of the votes, the lowest for the four projects being considered.[8] As part of the campaign, the Eden Project invited people all over Cornwall to try to break the world record for the biggest ever pub quiz as part of its campaign to bring £50 million of lottery funds to Cornwall.[9]

In December 2009, much of the project, including both greenhouses, became available to navigate through Google Street View.

The Eden Trust revealed a trading loss of £1.3 million for 2012–13, on a turnover of £25.4 million. The Eden Project had posted a surplus of £136,000 for the previous year. In 2014 Eden accounts showed a surplus of £2 million.[10]

The World Pasty Championships, an international competition to find the best Cornish pasties and other pasty-type savoury snacks, have been held at the Eden Project since 2012.[11]

The Eden Project is said to have contributed over £1 billion to the Cornish economy.[12] In 2016, Eden became home to Europe's second-largest redwood forest (after the Giants Grove at Birr Castle, Birr Castle, Ireland) when forty saplings of coast redwoods, Sequoia sempervirens, which could live for 4,000 years and reach 115 metres in height, were planted there.[13]

The Eden Project received 1,010,095 visitors in 2019.[14]

In December 2020 the project was closed after heavy rain caused several landslips at the site. Managers at the site are assessing the damage and will announce when the project will reopen on the company's website.[15] Reopening became irrelevant as Covid lockdown measures in the UK indefinitely closed the venue from early 2021, though it had reopened by May 2021 after remedial works had taken place. The site was used for an event during the 2021 G7 Summit, hosted by the United Kingdom.[16]

^ Jansch, Heather. "Heather Jansch Sculptor Bronze & Driftwood Horse". Heather Jansch. ^ "Our Story". Eden Project. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. ^ Turner, Jenny (3 October 2009). "Does the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy still answer the ultimate question?". The Guardian. London. ^ a b c "Eden story, educational charity – Eden Project, Cornwall". Eden Project. ^ "Car fumes blight Eden's green vision". The Guardian. 2 June 2002. Retrieved 21 February 2021. ^ "Eden edges closer to winning Lottery millions: Big Lottery Fund". Retrieved 16 May 2016. ^ "Routes scheme tops lottery vote". BBC News. 12 December 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2008. ^ "The People's 50 Million – Sustrans' Connect2 wins £50 million prize". The Big Lottery Fund. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008. ^ "About". Eden Project. Archived from the original on 26 December 2007. ^ "St Austell's Eden Project". Cornish Guardian. 15 June 2014. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. ^ "World Pasty Championships winners chosen", BBC News, 4 March 2012, retrieved 13 August 2016 ^ "Tim Smit KBE, Sir – Personally Speaking Bureau". Archived from the original on 27 November 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2016. ^ "Redwood conservation project". Eden Project. March 2016. ^ "ALVA - Association of Leading Visitor Attractions". www.alva.org.uk. Retrieved 23 October 2020. ^ "Cornwall Eden Project closes after heavy rain causes floods". BBC News. 20 December 2020. Retrieved 20 December 2020. ^ "G7 world leaders meet the Queen". The Telegraph. 11 June 2021. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
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