Tuesday 5 Feb, 2013

The Amazing Eden Project (And Why You Have To Go)


The Eden Project: The Future of Science!

The Eden Project is one of the stops on a few of EF’s Science and Innovation tours, and it sounds like it would make for an unforgettable learning experience. It’s located in Cornwall, England and has so much to offer visitors, including amazing gardens, the world’s largest rainforest in captivity, art and music events, and an educational centre. Visitors to the Eden Project can see firsthand how dependent we are on the natural world and will be inspired to help preserve the environment.

Along with running transformational social and environmental projects at their site in Cornwall and around the world, Eden conducts research into plants and conservation, offers environmental support programmes for businesses, hosts climate-related arts events, and collaborates on charitable projects worldwide that transform environments, places and livelihoods. Everything sounds like fun at the Eden Project, but here are some things you definitely shouldn’t miss:

The Rainforest Biome 

Eden is home to a 50-metre-tall Rainforest Biome, the largest jungle in captivity. Their rainforest has everything: tropical plants, mangrove swamps, a Malaysian hut with a vegetable plot and a paddy field, banana plants, and a mini soya plantation (among other things).  Make sure you check out the Rainforest Balloon, a research tool invented by scientists to safely access the rainforest canopy without causing damage. The Balloon is filled with helium and has a harness that can carry one person. You might get to see Eden’s staff pulling themselves along in the Balloon to look after the rainforest. 

The Rainforest Lookout

Found in the Rainforest Biome, the Rainforest Lookout gives you the opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of Eden’s jungle. The Lookout is located above the canopy of the Biome, a view that you wouldn’t normally see in a real rainforest. Some of the giant trees in the Biome are almost as tall as the ceiling, and you may catch a glimpse of some wildlife, like tree frogs or tiny birds.

Art and music

Eden uses music and art to engage their visitors on the subject of climate change. They work with comedians, artists and musicians who all use their creativity to inspire people to make positive changes in the world. Headline acts and local talent come play at their music festivals. Local youth are also encouraged to perform their work at Eden, whether it be dance, photography, art, or film-making. If you walk around the grounds, you’ll see specially commissioned pieces of art. They even have storytelling sessions every day in the Mediterranean Biome’s Citrus Grove.  

Delicious food

There are several cafés and restaurants located all over Eden and each has its own distinct flavour. They use local, seasonal or fair trade ingredients as much as possible. Some options include the Eden Bakery located between the Rainforest and the Mediterranean Biomes, a deli, and a café that serves bacon rolls (I really want one of those). Don’t worry if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free – they have choices for everyone.  

Educational centre

The Core, Eden’s education centre, is full of interactive displays that explain all of the things plants can do for us. During the day, the centre is used to teach visitors about ecosystems, evolutions, climate change, and resources. In the evening, they use it as an arts venue to host live acts and DJs. The best part? They have a secret slide entrance.

Incredible garden displays

Eden has over 80 garden exhibits that are designed to show people how we use them for things like fuels, medicine, materials and food. They have several thousand different plants in their outdoor gardens and you’ll find many unique sculptures hidden in the displays. My favourite part is the giant wooden ship they have “floating” in a sea of tea leaves. That would be my first stop.

All photos via edenproject.com