Eden Project, The

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United Kingdom - Bodelva, Cornwall

Institution Code: EDEN

International Agenda Registration: Yes

BGCI Member: Yes

About the Eden Project, The

The Eden Project was established as one of the landmark Millennium projects in the UK to mark the year 2000 and is structured as an educational charitable trust.

Eden's mission is 'To promote the understanding and responsible management of the vital relationship between plants, people and resources leading to a sustainable future for all'.

The Eden Project communicates its story in a ‘Living Theatre of Plants and People’ based in a large crater in which nestle two vast greenhouses (Biomes).

Currently in possession of approximately 11,000 live taxa.

Main Address:
Eden Project, The
Bodelva, Cornwall
PL24 2SG United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0) 1726 811 911
Fax: +44 (0) 1726 811 912
URL: www.edenproject.com
Primary Email: pstone@edenproject.com

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: -
    Curator's Name: Paul Stone, Head of Horticulture
    Plant Records Officer's Name:
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 33
    Educational Staff Number: 6
    Research Staff Number: 8
    Administration Staff Number: 2

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Trust: Yes
  • Date founded: 1997
  • Physical Data
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
  • Total Area: 50 Hectares
    Latitude: 50.361944
    Longitude: -4.744719
    Altitude: 0.00 Metres
    Total area of glasshouses: 25130 Metres
  • Additional Locations
  • Satellite Garden Names: Watering Lane Nursery

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: No
    Arboretum: No
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: Yes
    Seed Bank: Yes
    Published Plant Catalogue: Yes
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Shop: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: Yes
    Disabled access: Yes
  • Number of Visitors: 1

Plant Collections

  • Cultivation Taxa Num: 7040
  • Special Collections:Tropical plant collection under largest greenhouse in the world (1263 live taxa), consisting of global economically important crops (Coffee, Banana, Rice, and plant species found in Oceanic Islands, Malaysia, West Tropical Africa and the Amazon.

    Warm Temperate collection (1400 live taxa) representing the Mediterranean, California, South Africa and economically important plants, such as grape, citrus and sunflowers.

    Temperate outdoor collection (3412 live taxa) representing agriculture,traditional and modern English horticulture, medicinal plants and a large array of Conifer species.

    Including the Watering Lane Nursery site we have approximately 11,000 live taxa
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: Yes
    Invasive Species Policy: Yes
    Plant Collection Policy: Yes

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Medicinal Plant Programme: Yes
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: Yes
    Reintroduction Programme: Yes

Research Programmes

  • Conservation - Biology: Yes
    Education: Yes
    Ethnobotany: Yes
    Restoration Ecology: Yes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: Yes
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: Yes
    Courses for School Children: Yes
    Courses for University/College Students: Yes
    Courses for General Public: Yes

Ecological Restoration of a china clay quarry

It is implicit in any restoration project that some process of environmental change or degradation must have happened to lead to a loss of functioning habitat. This degradation needs to be corrected or habitat loss will continue to occur and restoration will be a wasted effort.

Eden Project’s research and practice extends beyond the question of species propagation and re-introduction to focus on the question of the environmental conditions that exist, and the barriers that have to be overcome for successful habitat recovery to take place.

Very different scenarios can be encountered depending on the history of impacts on any particular location. So for example the Eden Project’s own site is set within an extensive landscape of china clay extraction. This mining process has left behind spoil heaps that lack structure, organic matter and functioning biological and nutrient cycles. They are skeletal substrates that have much in common with exposed glacial moraines and a slow natural ecosystem process would take many years. To make it possible to restore vegetation cover different techniques are used for soil creation ranging from the acceleration of natural processes of nutrient and organic matter accumulation, using nitrogen-fixing species, through to the manufacture of starter substrates using a range of composted and recycled organic wastes.

In contrast there are often situations where ecosystems have become degraded because of excessive nutrient pollution. This is an increasingly common problem in areas which have been temporarily used for farming or where there has been a history of certain forms of pollution. With high fertility the rarer and more complex plant and animal communities are outcompeted by aggressive species.

Different methods have been tried to reduce the nutrient load on such sites including ‘cropping off’, trying to deplete the soil by sowing and harvesting a series of agricultural crops. However nutrient budgets show that this is often an exercise of marginal impact – there can be an appearance of nutrient depletion for a few years but the underlying base load is unchanged and gradually the available nutrient supply returns to high levels.

To help develop more effective solutions we have been working in partnership with Landlife, based at the National Wildflower Centre, who have been looking at the potential for deep ploughing and soil inversion as a way of redistributing nutrient load in the soil profile and in particular creating a surface soil layer that is less likely to allow aggressive species to establish.

Results have been extremely positive with ongoing monitoring demonstrating substantial improvements in both plant and animal biodiversity following the treatment.

More details can be obtained from:



Eden setting