Eden Project, Cornwall

Eden Project, Cornwall site is a tourist oriented conservation project in a Cornish clay-pit about a mile north of the road between Lostwithiel and St Austell. Eden Project, Cornwall attracted over 6 million visitors in the first 4 years of opening.

Eden Project map showing location in Cornwall

Eden Project Cornwall worlds biggest greenhouse biome
To take a claypit, and turn it into the worlds biggest greenhouse with individual microclimate

What is it?

Eden Project is run by Tim Smit (of Lost Gardens of Heligan fame), who raised money to build the world's largest biome. It has created under one roof, the complete range of natural plant habitats found on the Earth  It is believed that cost around 90 million and is one of the most impressive of Britain's Millennium ventures. The Millennium Commission (lottery) has paid around 43 million grant for the venture, the European Regional Development fund 12 million, Private Sector funds 20 million and the balance of  15 million from a number of other grants.

Tim Smit

Eden Project opened at Easter 2001. The aim was to attract 750,000 visitors a year and also provide a world-class centre for research into of the environment.

It in fact attracted 1.7 million visitors in the 9 months of 2001 that it was open. The visitor numbers climbed to 1,832,482 in the 12 months of 2002. And have fallen to 1,404,737 in 2003, and 1,223,959 visitors in 2004, and 1,177,189 in 2005.


With the emphasis in botany moving towards conservation, existing structures are not large enough to allow the study of populations of plants rather than individual species. This study of populations is important in understanding of sustainable development and plant bio-diversity.


The Detail

Eden Project biomes are one kilometer long and 60 meters high. It is expected to provide an economic boost for the region.  They believe it will generate up to 545 jobs over 16 years and attracting large numbers of tourists.

The vastness of the scheme is illustrated by showing that the equivalent of 13 Cathedrals can be fitted into just one of the four plant houses. In the clay pit 8ha of linked, climate controlled transparent greenhouses, known as biomes, will be constructed. A Visitor Centre provides a gateway to the biomes and the temperate parkland surrounding them. Visitors will experience the world of plants - using micro and time-lapse photography.

They will embark on a  journey through the veins of plants, taking in the cycle of life and death, regeneration and decay. And the miracle that photosynthesis - the key to life on earth. Initially the biomes will encapsulate 4 key climatic regions: rainforest, semi-desert, sub-tropics and Mediterranean. These host not only the greatest bio-diversity, but also the widest range of plants used by man.

The scheme will be the world's largest environmentally controlled glass-house, containing a databank of all major plant species across the globe. It will be a showcase for bio-diversity and human dependence upon plants This project uses the latest technology and materials to create a dramatic centre into a modern rival of the great glass and iron structures of the 19th century. 

The criterion  success will not be the magnificence of its gardens nor its buildings, it will be that in  100 years, the world will look back and say that this is the symbol of mankind's shift from exploitation to conservation

An enormous concept to encapsulate the world's four key climatological regions under one spectacular glass dome, the project will be a showcase for global bio diversity and human dependence upon plants. Its range of interest will have universal appeal from the most esoteric scientist to a child of six.

plan of Eden Project site

The ground plan of the finished project

The Eden Project their own web site

A day at Eden Project with lots of photographs to show you a day out here.


Eden Tim Smit

Eden Project, The Guide

Plants of Eden

A day at the Eden Project


Cornwall Tourist Information Cornwall Calling front page


Eden Project is handy to visit from is Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall find out more about it

Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall