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.



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Advanced: C1


I believe that there should be more strength on the purpose of the Eden project , It's great that it has made all this fame and people got fascinated but we really should know that if this project succeeds in its aim , it will offer us a new life:)

This article is very interesting, we learn a lot about the Earth problems

On the text are many dots missin'...
Just sayin'
Yours Günther

Hello Günther!
Thanks for pointing that out – it's actually because the headings have not been put in correctly. The article should look OK now!
Enjoy the rest of the site!
Jeremy Bee
The Learn English Team

Your texts
Anna Kowalska writes "I found the article very interesting. I come from the region of Poland that is very industrial and urbanized - lots of factories and a lot of pollution as an effect. It’s not possible to renew such devastation and destruction by human activity. But there are also some places in our country that are protected because there are lots of rare plants and animals living there. These are called national parks and I consider them as a good solution in our times. There is also a place called the ‘green lungs of Poland’ where you can find very large areas of forests.

In my opinion such places as these domes in Cornwall are a really good way of showing people the importance of the necessity to change their lifestyle and rescue our planet. I also don’t think about biodiversity problems in my everyday life. I take things as they are and sometimes I find it impossible to change the way I live. A simple example is buying things in plastic bottles that cannot be recycled. I think that showing people a new style of life would be more effective or would be a good addition to showing them how the environment would look without us destroying it."

Mehmet Ozek writes "This project is very original. But I'm not sure this subject is very important for people and animals and our world because it doesn’t make a difference. It's my opinion. Scientists say "our world is one"."

Wei Jin writes "This problem is most important for every country. In some countries, industries developing fast result in overfishing, deforestation and the destruction of the zoological balance, and the people already cannot enjoy natural landscapes. So,the ways the article introduces are very useful, we should change our current activity as soon as possible!"

Jyothi Nagarathnam writes "I consider this article to be very informative, in the sense that even if we are aware of these things, many of us fail to adopt the necessary steps in our daily lives. I am from Bangalore in India. As a kid, I have seen my city clean and green with fresh clean air with a moderate climate in any season of the year. Now after nearly 2 decades, the city has lost its charm because of the pollution from the vehicles and industries dotting the city borders. I believe it also has a very significant effect in terms of ecological balance because of excessive interaction with nature by humans and thereby exhausting all the natural resouces. I genuinely feel that places like Garden of Eden should increase in number throughout the world; making people aware of the consequences of misusing nature's resources, and at the same time considering our planet is our only home, we should take care of this only place as we would of our homes."