The Eden Project in Cornwall, United Kingdom has two large biospheres that are home to re-created rainforest and Mediterranean environments that were destroyed by poor human management. The biospheres have a unique appearance as they are made up of hexagonal and pentagonal inflated plastic cells. Thousands of plant species in the biospheres have been collected from diverse climates and environments.
The Eden Project sits in a 160 year old clay pit that was used for television series in the 1980’s and 90’s. Construction for the project began in 1998, but torrential rains flooded the pit and halted construction. The Eden project officially opened in May of 2000 as a visitor centre. The full site with plants did not open until March of 2001. Throughout the course of its existence, the project has been used as a location for films, concerts, ice skating events, cafés, Christmas markets, choir events, and pubs.
The Tropical Biosphere covers 1.6 hectares’ acres and is 55m high, 100m wide, and 200m long. It houses fruit, coffee, rubber, giant bamboo, and other tropical plants. A tropical temperature and moisture level is kept at all times.
The Mediterranean Biosphere covers .65 hectares and is 35m high, 65m wide, and 135m long. It houses plants such as olive and grape vines and is kept at a warm temperature.
The Botanical Gardens houses local plant species as well as more temperate weather plants such as tea, lavender, hops, hemp, and sunflowers.
The Core is an educational facility that opened in 2005. Classrooms and exhibition spaces are used to provide visitors with information on the relationship between plants and humans.
Visitors to the project are offered a variety of things to do. Exploring the biospheres, walking the paths of the gardens, visiting The Core, zip lining, playing on children’s equipment, and dining are all popular. Ticket discounts and memberships are available and can be found at http://www.edenproject.com/visit/buy-tickets. There is also a calendar of events which can be found at http://www.edenproject.com/visit/whats-on.