Who could believe that a group of space-age geodesic domes set in the Cornwall countryside could possibly become one of the most famous visitor attractions in the world, but 10 years ago that’s exactly what happened when the Eden Project opened its doors…well domes actually.
The Eden Project back in 2001 was a pretty new concept with the aim of being educational, but not trying the doom-and-gloom approach. Instead they wanted to show what was going on and bring the issues to life rather than simply showing people slides on a computer screen.
There were three things which the Eden Project really helped bring to the public conciousness:
1) Environmental issues can be explored in a fun way without being lectured.
2) You can find a good use for an old quarry which doesn’t involve paint-ball.
3) The name “geodesic dome” which at least sounded very academic down the pub.
Concept: Originally created by Tim Smit, Nicholas Grimshaw amongst others, the domes hold what are known as biomes which are in essence mini-eco systems focusing mainly around the tropical with a full blown rainforest and the Mediterranean. There are other biomes too such as the Outdoor Biome which shows off plants such as tea, lavender, hops, hemp and sunflowers.
Today: The whole project has evolved and this year they’ve added the Rainforest Lookout which is a steel staircase and platform high above the rainforest section which appears from the base to be simply hanging in mid-air. As long as you fancy walking up the many stairs and don’t have too much of a fear of heights, this could be extreme fun and gives probably the best view you will ever see from the project.
If you want to visit the Eden Project this Summer, there are plenty of activities right through the Summer Holidays including the NoFit State Circus which is visiting for the entire Summer with acrobats, musicians and dancers.
The Eden Project is only 3 miles from St. Austell.