Picture of Martyn Overy
Amazing Eden Project
by Martyn Overy - Sunday, 6 July 2003, 7:33 AM
 
What is it about "The Eden Project" that is attracting over 2 million visitors a year to this unique place in Cornwall, UK?......

It is absolutely amazing to learn just how "The Eden Project" developed from a dream of one person (Dr. Tom Smit) to a full-scale project involving many individuals and a wide variety of organisations. They have all been willing to give up time and resources, and money, to organise and finance a venture which has continued to ignite the imagination of so many visitors. This is an important pointer to its success. Many project partners, offering their own special developments and resources, have provided attractions that appeal to such a wide audience. Arts, Sciences, Industry, Horticultural Organisations, and Colleges/Universities are all represented in the list of partners.

The Mission Statement is embedded within the relatonship between plants and people .....

"To promote the understanding and responsible management of the vital relationship between plants, people and resources leading to a sustainable future for all"

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Visitors who expect just a pure scientific approach will be surprised to find that The Eden Project offers a experience where science, art, culture are all interwoven within an environmental context..

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Businesses, industries, and individuals all have an impact on the environment, be it at a local or global scale. The The Eden Project encourages visitors to consider the ways to minimise the detrimental effects of our actions on the environment, and to seek and use ways to reduce these effects. In this way, we can all increase the level and depth of sustainability of local and global environments.

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The idea of having a unique setting for a number of Biomes, was first proposed by Dr. Tom Smit. The structures were built within a disused china clay pit, near St.Austell, Cornwall, UK.

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Here you will discover the largest conservatories in the world. The hexagonal bubbles of the structure mimic nature, by copying the shape of the sections of insects' eyes. The lightness of the structure is such that the framework is not much greater that the enclosed air within the structure.

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No need for macro fittings to your camera here...

If this does not start you thinking about the relationship between plants and insects, and art, then ... go visit for yourself!

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Using nature's own products to produce works of art, and then placed in 'natural' settings.

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Each Biome consists of a fascinating diversity of plants, all being grown within the required environmental conditions: heat, light and water, humidity are all carefully controlled and constantly monitored.

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The hexagonal windows are made of made of three layers of a polymeric material (ETFE). Unlike ordinary glass windows, these special windows allow the transmission of UV light. Other benefits are that they are self-cleaning and they weigh only 1% of a glass window of the same dimensions.

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More information about The Eden Project can be found on the Eden Project Website