The Eden Project is in a clay pit in Cornwall and consists of two enormous domes and an outdoor area. Visitors can learn to live in harmony with their environment.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercise.

We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
Joni Mitchell (Woodstock)

According to the Bible, the Garden of Eden was the home of the first two humans, Adam and Eve. In the story, the garden provided everything the couple needed, and they lived there in peace and happiness until they were banished for breaking the rules. In 1999, Tim Smit, an ex-rock musician and record producer, borrowed the name of the biblical garden for a collection of space-age domes in a corner of south-west England – the Eden Project.

Rock and activism

It is not unusual for people involved in the music business to alert us to environmental and political issues. Bob Geldof (the singer from British punk band The Boomtown Rats) raised a huge amount of money to help feed millions of starving people in Africa in 1985, Bono from U2 has been successful in campaigning for the reduction of debts which developing countries owe to rich nations, and the music festival at Woodstock in 1969 is seen by many as the culmination of the civil rights marches and anti-war protests of the 1960s. Tim Smit’s Eden Project was created to highlight the relationship between humans and the environment, and through information, research and education lead the way to a brighter future.

The problem

The modern world is a far cry from the balance and harmony of the Garden of Eden. By-products of a typical modern lifestyle such as overfishing, deforestation and intensive farming are destroying natural habitats and creating a world with less biodiversity. These activities are not sustainable, that is, the planet is unable to survive if we continue to take more from the earth than it can replace. Recent research by the World Wildlife Fund suggests that we will have to colonise two planets the same size as the earth by 2050 unless people in rich countries change the way they live.

The solution

The Eden Project is on the site of an abandoned clay pit in Cornwall and consists of two enormous domes, or biomes, and an outdoor area. The first biome houses a humid tropical zone representing Malaysia, West Africa and South America, and is the biggest greenhouse in the world. The second biome is a warm temperate zone which contains the type of environment found in Mediterranean countries, California and South West Australia. The outdoor area displays a collection of plants and landscapes typical of temperate climates like those in Britain, parts of North America, Russia and India.

As visitors to the domes walk past lakes and waterfalls, through rainforests and over deserts, they discover how the ecosystems in each zone operate, learn how people have damaged each environment, and find out how people native to the different areas can learn to live in harmony with their environment and have a positive and beneficial effect on it.

Science, horticulture, creative, marketing, media and human resources researchers at the site are constantly investigating ways of combining science, art, technology and communication in new ways to find solutions to the problem of living a modern lifestyle in harmony with the natural world. The researchers form part of a new green movement, which is discovering new uses for plants, including plant plastics, medicines and oils.


The Eden Project has been enormously successful in the two years it has been open. Millions of people have flocked to the site, and the biomes also attracted the attention of the director of the James Bond film Die Another Day, in which the domes featured as the lair of the villain, Gustav Graves. In 2002 the biomes were also the venue for a music festival featuring Pulp, Spiritualized, Doves and other major acts who performed among the foliage. Works of art from around the world are also on display, and the following summer the events included a play based on a story by Monty Python’s Terry Jones.

The future

But the Eden Project is no Disneyland, 'If this place becomes no more than an upmarket theme park, it will all have been a gigantic waste of money,' Tim Smit writes in the visitors' guide (the domes cost 86 million pounds.) After a day spent walking around the biomes in Cornwall, he hopes that visitors will be inspired to find out more about ecology, look at ways of changing their lifestyles and participate in trying to get the human race back into the Garden of Eden.



Language level

Advanced: C1


I think Eden project is likely Eden Garden on heaven for those who love nature.
According to the articles Eden Garden is more than the theme park because it conserve world environment as well as preserve theme of Heaven Eden Garden.

Could u tell me that where can i find the audio of this article please?

Hello Shan

I'm afraid that the articles in this section do not have audio. You can find some articles with audio in Podcasts for professionals and in our Listening section.

Next week or the week after we will start adding more than 50 new pages in our Listening section, so I'd encourage you to keep an eye on it especially.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

I am greatly interested on this subject because I major in Perfoming Arts, therefore I belive that change through projects like this is reachable. I specially love the fact that Tim highlights the importance of taking ecology beyond representation.

I think it is good project. It is better than nothing.

Thank you very much for the interesting article. Earlier, audio files (mp3) were attached to the texts. These audio files were very useful for me. I hope that in the future we will again have the opportunity not only to read, but also to listen to these wonderful texts.

Through this article, Mike Rayner lets people be aware of a thematic garden, hardly known outside Great Britain. Each section deals with several aspects of the Eden Project, according its founder's purposes of environmental questions and research about biodiversity.
After a quote by Joni Mitchell's lyrics, Rayner starts his article by explaining the peculiar name of the project, considering a wide target of readers from different cultures. The journalist not only tells people about Eden as myth, but also he briefly introduces the founder Tim Smit, his background, his concern about sustainable ways of living and which aims he wishes to achieve through this expensive project.
Rayner points out that courageous campaigning and activism have motivated many popular artists since 1969. Overall, the article shows out how the Eden Project may inspire an empirical awareness of environmental questions and a scientific approach to research.
I found this article quite interesting and, after reading, I have got the good impression to have apprehended something new. Therefore, I think this article achieved its purposes by informing readers and stimulating curiosity about the subject.

I have nerver seen such relevant information, I reckon it is an interesting way to provide some insight into ginving a helping to our outstanding planet.
there is no denying that it will encourage people to change their lifestyle and save this unique place to live so far.

A great way to help people to understand enviromental problem.
One day I hope will be possible also in my country to create such a useful site

Very interesting information, I had never heard of that project. It would be great to visit a place that has different ecosystems in the same area.