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.

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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


Helpful & Excellent

Hi Sir,
i would like to comment that there is a mistake in the Sucess Paragraph.
You can listen on video "and the following summer the events" instead of "and one summer the events" as is written down into the article. I think that both are right. Thanks.

Hi mikel_1975,

Thank you for pointing this out. We proofread our materials carefully but some mistakes do creep through and it is great to know that our eagle-eyed users can spot them!

I have corrected the text on the page.


Thanks again,


The LearnEnglish Team

Could you answer my question, please?
Is there no difference between the C1 videos/listenings of this section and the section of Learn English Teens?
The only difference is that the materials and the videos of this section are interesting for adults and in the section of teens the videos are interesting for teenagers, am i right?
Is there no level difference?

Hello Arthurum,

That's exactly right - the level of the texts is roughly the same (C1) but they are intended for different readers - though of course you're welcome to read both.

By the way, at the C1 level, you might also want to start reading texts written for native speakers, e.g. at the BBC or the Guardian.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

In my opinion? Excellent Article, is very interesting.

In my opinion this article took about important topic. It shows and adventages of living in line with natural environment. I agree with a general message, that people should respect eco system and we should interfere with the nature.

I find It an extremely attractive idea to perform among the foliage. If I had the opportunity I would perform a piece of music with very strong beats so the plants can dance along. Don't know whether that will happen.

After learning this article I think Mr. Tim Smit is a great person. He is one of those people who really cares about this planet. I believe everyone of us has a part within which cares just as much as Tim Smit does. One of Tim's greatest achievements is to awaken this consciousness and urges us to be proactive in terms of environmental protection. I hope we all do what we can to make this planet a sustainable habitat for all the lives on it.

Hi! I was looking for some other video files, articles or podcasts containing exercises related to the environment, recycling, global warming and landfill sites. I came accross them yesterday on this site, but they seem to have vanished. Could you help me find them, please? Thanks a lot in advance!

Hi minesdelorme,

I'd suggest you use our search box to search for 'environment' or other appropriate words. That should help you find any page on our site that contains the words you search for.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team