When I was a student at Falmouth I was lucky enough to be able to go on loads of day trips around Cornwall in my housemates’ cars. The Eden Project is just only an hour’s drive away from Falmouth, and one sunny day in May we all piled in and trundled along for a day trip.
Thanks to Jo for lending me some of her photos!
Visiting the Eden Project
The Eden Project is spread over the enormous crater of an old clay mine in Bodelva, Cornwall. It’s not just a massive garden (with the largest indoor rainforest in the world), it’s also an educational charity that works towards sustainability and environmental protection.
The Mediterranean Biome
The smaller and cooler of the two biomes, the Mediterranean Biome houses over 1,000 plants from the Mediterranean, South Africa, California and Western Australia.
You’ll also find the Eden Med Terrace, a little restaurant in this biome where you can eat under a canopy of lemon and olive trees and pretend you’re really in the med.
I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t as fascinated by the Mediterranean Biome as I was by the Rainforest one, which is probably why I didn’t take any photos. Because here ladies and gents etc, is the main event…
The Rainforest Biome
The Rainforest Biome has a climate of between 18-35 degrees C, so bear this in mind when choosing your outfit for the day! The biome has four different areas – Tropical Islands, Southeast Asia, West Africa and Tropical South America – which native plantlife and even some little birds running around under the leafy shrubs.
The canopy walkway will take you through the treetops and give you a wonderful view over the whole biome. If you’re feeling brave you can also climb up to the highest platform, where all the heat from the biome collects and it’s so humid the very air seems to sweat. Worth it?
Also worth hunting for: cocoa beans and bananas growing in the trees, vanilla and cashew plants, rubber trees, the Malaysian hut and the African totem sculpture.
The Core education centre is an unusual structure, made with responsibly sourced materials and totally energy efficient. Various parts are made out of recycled wood, plant-based carpets, and even Heineken bottles. The roof design is inspired by the spirals on a pinecone, pineapple and sunflower.
There’s always something going on inside the Core, often interactive and always educational.
At the heart of the Core in a specially designed room lives a huge seed-shaped sculpture, made out of a single piece of granate. The pattern is inspired by pinecones and carved with 1,800 dents in the stone.
The Giant Bee
To the south of the Mediterranean Biome you’ll find this sculpture crouched over the flower beds. The Giant Bee symbolises the importance of bees to the environment – did you know that over a third of our food needs pollinating insects to reproduce?
The rest of the Eden Project is made up of landscaped outdoor gardens with over 3,000 varieties of plants over 20,000 acres of land, with vegetable allotments and an area dedicated to the nature of Cornwall. There’s tons for children (and grown-ups) to do all year round, and seasonal activities are often held in the arena.
We had a wonderful picnic by the arena during our visit, but if you don’t want to bring food you can eat in the Mediterranean Biome, the Core Cafe, or in the cafe the connects the two biomes.
Yes! The Eden Project is definitely worth it. In fact, the Rainforest Biome on its own would be worth it, so all the other activities are bonuses. It might seem like it’s designed for children, but as a group of young adults we found it a really fun day out, with a massive helping of knowledge on the side.