We were quite excited to be visiting the Eden Project, well… Vic more so than me, as she definitely has the green thumb in our household. But I had read and heard quite a bit from years ago and it seemed to be a fantastically futuristic project.
So I was expecting to see great big, towering domes on the hillside, like a beacon beckoning you onward. Perhaps not surprisingly, in retrospect, it is hidden in a valley (pay attention or you’ll drive right by) having been an old abandoned quarry.
New life has been breathed into the 10 hectare site, completely dominated by the two biodomes. I found out that it is dedicated to studying the biodiversity of plantlife around the world.
The Tropical and Mediterranean domes (enormously tall at 50 metres and ingeniously constructed of ‘soft shell’ airfilled ‘sacks’) make it possible to recreate these climates in the north of Europe. Add the gardens outside with plants and vegetables and it is a great big nursery for plantlife…
Cleverly set up to educate, especially towards young children, there is a theater and exhibits explaining our impact on the planet and how we need to be more aware of the intricate balance in these ecosystems.
Undeniably, the large structures are imposing from the outside, but once inside the ‘jungle’ in the Tropical dome – hot and humid and very green – you are transported for an instant into central America…
There is a huge diversity in the Mediterranean dome, from Africa to southern Europe, from grape vines to twenty varieties of chilli peppers… And in the gardens outside a thoughtful exhibit motioning us to be more aware of our consumption in a ‘throw-away’ soceity.
So as a theme park focussed on plantlife it is a great educational tool. If you’re an avid gardener or find fascination in (the history of) plantlife and species across the world, then it is definitely worth a visit.
Also as a destination for the kids it is a great day out and they should come away having learned something.