Over the weekend some friends and I decided to go on a trip to the Eden Project down in Cornwall. I hadn't been for probably 10 - 12 years according to my parents. After much planning we began the drive down from Bristol in the sunshine.
We arrived Saturday morning and began by discovering that you could gift your entry to the Eden Trust and receive a year long pass to the Eden Project. This is great. We paid and began exploring! The Outdoor garden's weren't at their best in late November, however the colours of the plants really were pretty - especially in contrast to the patchy blue / grey skies we seemed to have.
The first biome we explored was the Mediterranean biome. This dome is 35m high covering about 2 acres, housing temperate and arid plants. It was technically 'late autumn' for the plants and trees in here - there will plentiful satsumas and clementines for harvest, vines preparing for the cooler months and chillis ready to be picked.
It was really interesting travelling around this biome in the autumn winter period. It enabled me to fully see how they cultivated the plants in such a unique environment - similar to the GroDome we have at Bristol. I also discovered their very unique gravity hydroponics system - I'm going to look into that a bit more for my research!
After a quick and very tasty lunch we explored the Tropical biome. This is much bigger than the first one, with a height of 55m covering approximately 4 acres. In here we saw the waterfall, stood on the canopy platform and really discovered the size of the biome. We saw banana trees, pineapple plants, rubber, coffee and sugar cane. I also found the rice paddies quite interesting - maybe an avenue for the future with my research!
Standing on the 35m platform looking down at the biome was the most memorable part of the whole Eden Project experience. It really puts into perspective how collosal the rainforest is - particularly after exploring the forest floor on the journey to the staircase. It even put into perspective how deep some of my dives have been - being able to visualise the height was something I haven't done before...
We stayed over night at the YHA Eden Project in a snoozebox. This was fantastic and really cheap. It came with en-suite and bedding - there was also a TV and a cafe / bar for guests. We spent the next day exploring the South Devon coastline with a trip to Wembury Bay.
Overall, I thought the Eden Project was beautiful. It really is so cool that an old clay pit in Cornwall has been transformed into such a beautiful habitat. It enables research, education and outreach into environmental science. If you are ever able to visit I would definitely recommend it! Maybe one day we will be able to grow plants on other planets!...