Win tickets to Eden Sessions: enter our climate competition

April 30, 2011
Author: Hannah

Aged 16–25 and got what it takes to be a prize winning film maker or writer?

Use your talent to make a difference and raise awareness of climate change in our unique competition.

Together with Cape Farewell, the project that helps people to engage in the subject of climate change by combining science with music and the arts, Eden has come up with a great opportunity for you to bring to life the messages around this hot topic.

Here’s what you have to do to be in with a chance of winning, by 6 June 2011:

• Create a maximum two-minute film about climate change
You could win tickets to an Eden Session of your choice, plus entry into the Future Features Live Debate this summer. This year's performers include Pendulum, Brandon Flowers and the Flaming Lips.

• Write a 100-word provocation on climate change to kickstart a debate about this hot topic
You could win an exclusive gig from hip hop artist and poetry slam champ Dizraeli and the Smaller Gods in your own home, plus the chance to kick-start the Future Features Live Debate at this summer's Eden Sessions with your question.

Enter the Future Features competition.

Find out more about Eden’s work with Cape Farewell, for inspiration on your entry.

Check out the line-up for the Eden Sessions to see what you could win.

Eden and Cape Farewell would like to thank the Instigate Debate for the inspiration behind this competition.

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Climate change, Creativity, Eden Sessions, Music
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Eden convenes orchard event for South West

April 29, 2011
Author: Hannah

Eden is convening an event on South West fruit production, covering everything from cider varieties to biodiversity in orchards to marketing fruit crops.

The afternoon event on 16 May is the latest in the series of Fruit Focus South West that aims to raise the profile and standards of fruit production in the region.

Organised in comjunction with the Tamar AONB  (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the day should be of interest to those working in the industry, individuals interested in biodiversity, or communities considering creating their own orchard.

Held at Trenderway Farm, near Looe, Cornwall, the day includes a tour around the farm’s orchard, talks from experts, plus networking opportunities.

The full programme of sessions is as follows:

Fruit quality and production

  • Liz Copas, National Association of Cider Makers
    21st-century cider apples ‘the girls’
  • Julian Temperley, Royal Bath and West Show
    Role in support of the cider industry and community orchards
  • Nick Poole, Powerstock Cider Festival
    Cider Celebration – development of the festival
  • William Hudson, East Anglian Food Link /Provenance
    Getting your marketing right for fruit

Orchard tour
Les Davies, Westcountryman Orchard Management

Orchard biodiversity and use

  • Rosemary Teverson, Tamar Valley AONB
    Recent biodiversity surveys in Tamar Valley orchards
  • John Iles, Wyre Community Land Trust
    Bringing derelict orchards back into use
  • Andrew Ormerod; Caroline Brunel, Eden Project
    Biodiversity survey work around the River Fowey

To book a place at the event (£10 including refreshments), which runs from 1.45-6pm, please email The full address for the venue is: Trenderway Farm, Pelynt, Nr Polperro, Looe, Cornwall. Telephone: 01503 272 214

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Biodiversity, Horticulture
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Massive Unplugged music event comes to Eden

April 27, 2011
Author: Hannah

Eden has proved a fantastic outdoor setting for some electrifying acts such as energetic rockers Muse and drama queen Amy Winehouse.

This summer we’re staging a musical event which will ring out just as loud and clear – but uses simply the power of voice and the site’s natural acoustics to fill the place with sound.

Unplugged will see around 100 singers, plus brass and percussion players, positioned around the former clay pit in a huge acoustic event on 3 and 4 June. Among them will be local musicians, composers and choirs, including the Eden and Imerys choirs and the BBC Proms Family Orchestra.

The organisers are also looking for individual singers to take part in the event and the workshops leading up to it. The workshops, which start in May, will give the participants the chance to help shape the final piece.

Part of Eden’s 10th birthday celebrations this year, Unplugged has been specially created by London-based composer Tim Sutton, along with Vicky Long, creative producer for Cape Farewell, the project that helps people to engage in the subject of climate change by combining science with music and the arts. It is supported by Tipping Point, PRS for Music Foundation and Arts Council England.

The music itself has been inspired by different folk traditions and the history of mining to form a piece that encourages people to think of Eden’s background, and the connection between people and the environment.

Tim Sutton said: 'I’m really excited by the possibility of working with Cornish musicians to create a piece which will inhabit the great outdoors.

'The aim is to invite people to experience Eden in a new way, with heightened attention to and appreciation of the sounds of the natural environment, reflecting upon our responsibility towards it.'

The next workshop will take place on Sunday May 8. For more information on the Unplugged event and how to take part as a singer, contact Amie Rey

Find out more about Eden’s collaboration with Cape Farewell.

Eden's 10th birthday, Music

Five ideas to get your kids outdoors this Easter

April 24, 2011
Author: Tom

Forget about chocolate this Easter, get your kids outdoors with this selection of fun ideas, craft projects and games from the people behind our Mud Between Your Toes campaign.

1. Decorate blown eggs

  • Pierce a hole at each end of a real egg, then blow the white and yolk into a bowl (these can be used to cook with!).
  • Rinse out the egg and leave it to dry.
  • Decorate the egg, using paint or wax crayons, or by leaving it to soak in food colouring for a patterned effect.

2. Play Egg Drop

This is a team game where the aim is to make a cover for a real egg to protect it from cracking when dropped from a height.

  • Each team has to pick five things from a selection of different materials (fabric, leaves, cotton wool, or whatever you can find).
  • Each team then uses their selected materials to make a protective cover for an egg.
  • The eggs must then be dropped from the same height on to the same surface – the one that survives the fall wins. If no egg survives, teams can experiment with different combinations of materials.

3. Make a wild Easter bonnet

Get the kids to raid the garden for materials to decorate an Easter Bonnet. If you’re not happy about them tearing up your garden, you could get them to scavenge materials when you’re out on a walk.

4. Make an Easter mobile

Make some rings of different sizes from willow sticks (withies), and then join them together with wire to make an egg shape. Add decorated blown eggs (see above) to the willow egg to make an Easter mobile.

5. Make a wild nest for Easter eggs

Make a large nest with twigs, leaves and moss, and fill it with decorated blown eggs (see above) or decorated hard-boiled eggs

Mud Between Your Toes aims to connect children and young people to the world they live in - to experience, understand and celebrate their sense of place and purpose in the natural world and in their communities.

Thanks to Lisa Welshman


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Fun, Play
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Eden gardeners work with homeless to complete architect’s grand vision for Southbank Centre

April 22, 2011
Author: Hannah

Working with 50 men and women who have faced really tough challenges in their lives, the Eden Project has created a rooftop garden for London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall – as part of the Southbank Centre’s Festival of Britain 60th anniversary celebrations.

Eden has brought together a group of gardeners, some of whom have been homeless and others who are ex-prisoners, to turn the top of the building into a lush 1,200 square metre garden – helped by local schools, youth groups and neighbours.

The project provides the missing piece of the futuristic building, as it transforms the space labelled as ‘Sun Deck’ on the original architect’s plans that was never fully developed.

Eden’s Howard Jones said: ‘The roof garden is a new type of garden – appropriate for a world-class destination, open and welcoming to the public. It is beautiful, providing intimate space that will be a great place to be in the evenings as well as during the day.’

Designed by Eden’s landscape architect Jane Knight and designer Paul Stone, the garden gives a taste of British gardens and landscapes. Visitors can stroll around a lawn area with orchards, vegetable plots, a rosebud walk, and herb garden created around a cafe.

Its wild flower area, with 90 different varieties, is specially built to attract nature to the centre of London. A rustic pergola clothed with sweetly-scented climbers provides easy access to the Hayward Gallery over a bridge lined with drought-resistant plants growing in cracks in the pavement.

The groups of disadvantaged people have been led by East London-based Providence Row Housing Association, working in association with the Eden team. Some of the gardeners, including Paul Pulford, also known as Scruffy, have built on their previous successes at the Chelsea Flower Show, where for the last two years, the Eden-led show gardens  have won silver medals. For many of the participants, becoming involved in horticulture has helped them get back on their feet and end a spiral of homelessness and despair.

Paul Pulford said: ‘To be able to help to design, build and nurture the garden on the Thames at Southbank Centre with our team is, to this date, one of the biggest challenges of my life. Seven years ago, I was a broken man both physically and mentally, living on the streets with methadone, heroin and alcohol addictions numbing the misery of my life.

Today I am clean, employed as a Horticulture Teacher in our group, Grounded Ecotherapy, paying my own rent for the first time in 30 years and I get my hands in the earth each day, grow plants, herbs and vegetables and share my life with anyone who wants to join us.’

The gardens are open from 22 April  – 4 September 2011, as part of the South Bank's festival of British culture and creativity.

Find out more about Eden’s work with the socially excluded, from building show gardens with homeless people at the Chelsea Flower Show, to food growing schemes in prisons.

Read a personal blog from one of the Grounded gardeners.

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Jonathon Porritt urges young people to 'get angry before it’s too late’

April 21, 2011
Author: Guest

In Eden's 10th birthday year, Jonathon Porritt reflects on the highs and lows of a decade in environmentalism, looks forward to the next 10 years, and gives some rousing advice to young people.

Best moment of the last decade
In 2005, we launched the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy, which has been widely recognised around the world as one of the most far-reaching and effective ‘frameworks’ for sustainable development.

We on the Sustainable Development Commission were involved in every aspect of this, working very closely with all the progressive elements in the old Labour Government to see off the dark forces of the Treasury and elsewhere.

Worst moment of the last decade
In 2010, the new Coalition Government decided to get rid of the Sustainable Development Commission, and kick the 2005 Strategy into the long grass. Short-sighted, ideologically motivated and crass.

It also gave the instantaneous lie to any notion that this was going to be the ‘greenest government ever’, an insight confirmed in the 2011 Budget which has to be one of the most environment-unfriendly Budgets over the last decade.

Hopes for Eden’s next 10 years
Eden does a lot of things really well, but for me there are two things that will matter more than anything else over the next decade.

The first is Eden’s ‘green economy’, demonstrating to people in practice that creating wealth sustainably actually works, provides jobs, improves skills and so on. Eden is doing this through its approach to food, energy (particularly all the renewables stuff), waste – there’s really a lot going on.

And the second thing is education – creatively helping more and more young people to really understand what sustainable development is all about, and how incredibly exciting it is.

Which is why my one piece of advice is aimed particularly at young people:
Get angry – before it’s too late!
Get stuck in – to ensure it’s not going to be too late!
Inspire others to do the same!

Environmentalist and writer Jonathon Porritt is Founder Director of Forum for the Future and former Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission. His latest book is Capitalism: As if the World Matters, and he blogs regularly at

See how Eden works with young people on everything from climate change art to survival skills.

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Eden's 10th birthday, Sustainability

New exhibit on Eden's charity projects in our land train shelter

April 20, 2011
Author: Hannah

Fans of Eden’s tractor-towed land train will be excited to hear that we’ve just done a revamp of the shelter to include an exhibition of some of our charitable projects.

Exhibit designer Michelle Taylor has kitted the place out like a traditional gardening shed, complete with old tools hanging from the eaves. Also brightening the walls are pieces of art made by participants on Eden’s social outreach programme Great Day Out.

Individuals from homeless hostels, drug and alcohol rehab agencies and youth exclusion units who've visited Eden on a Great Day Out (below), helped create block-printed t-shirts, decorative art from recycled materials, and photography and writing.

Our Great Day Out project aims to engage people through group tours of Eden, creative and hands-on skills workshops such as cooking, gardening, art and photography and organised activities to improve team-building, confidence, self-esteem and mental/emotional health and well-being.

The programme’s Kate Abriel says: ‘Eden, as a venue for environmental education and meaningful art exhibits, is an inspiring place in itself. When you combine the venue with skilled and experienced staff and a first-class social inclusion programme, it can be life-changing for participants.’

The display also highlights the work of other horticulture-related outreach programmes that Eden helps to run: People and Gardens, Seeds, Soup and Sarnies and Growing for Life. Find out more about these projects on our website.

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Community, Horticulture
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The future is bright, the future is low-carbon: Transition Town man Rob Hopkins

April 20, 2011
Author: Guest

Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition Network, is a man gearing up for climate change and peak oil. The good news is that he says he can taste a brighter future already.

A low-carbon world, a post-oil, resilient world isn’t something abstract and notional, rather it is something we can already taste in the world around us.

For me, the future is a mix of the best urban food projects (such as Incredible Edible Todmorden in Yorkshire), the best agroforestry projects (such as the Agroforestry Research Trust on the Dartington Estate in Devon) and the best market gardens I have ever seen (such as Anne Evans’ and Peter Segger’s Blaencamel Farm in Wales).

It includes the finest natural buildings I have touched and walked around (like the first strawbale house I helped build in Clones, Co. Monaghan in Ireland), and energy systems we can already visit. The future is not something esoteric, or some kind of Logan’s Run hi-tech fantasy, but the very real upscaling of what we already know and understand.

This is also what I love about Eden. Being able to embrace a cob wall, swoon at the sight of a gracious sweeping edible landscape, recycle as though it were the most natural thing in the world and spend a day surrounded by solar panels and energy conservation, this all becomes everyday (photos, right).

As indeed it will be. The future is no longer something abstract, something foggy and unknown, rather it comes into bold and vivid focus, in bright, warm colours. The stories we tell ourselves about the future start to shift. The fear dissolves, replaced by a sense of excitement about the possibilities.

If we are to successfully navigate the next 10-20 years, it will be an achievement more impressive than the Industrial Revolution, and will have happened in a fraction of the time. Any sense that we are ‘moving away from’ something irreplaceable will only be an impediment.

The power of Eden is that a low-carbon world becomes something to move towards, in such a way that life won’t seem worth living if we aren’t part of the collective effort to make it happen. This is a powerful thing indeed, and in this your 10th birthday year, I thank you deeply for all that you have brought into the world.

Rob Hopkins is the co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and the Transition Network. He blogs at and is author of The Transition Handbook and the forthcoming The Transition Companion.

Be inspired by Eden’s outreach projects, which are helping neighbourhoods connect and start to build more resilient communities – through activities like street parties, gardening and creative planning events.

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Climate change, Community, Eden's 10th birthday, Sustainability
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Calling volunteers for Cornish orchard survey

April 18, 2011
Author: Hannah

Eden is helping do vital research on Cornwall's orchards - and we're looking for people to help with this between now and the end of May.

It's part of a national initiative to record biodiversity within these important habitats. Now that orchards are listed as one of the 'priority habitats' for conservation action by the government's Biodiversity Action Plan, the People's Trust for Endangered Species is creating a map of UK orchards – and we want to add Cornwall to this 

A similar survey in Worcestershire found 1,800 species of living creatures in orchards, including the rare Noble Chafer Beetle, which lives in decaying fruit trees. How many plants and animals might we find in Cornwall's?

The Cornish orchard biodiversity survey will take place in and around the River Fowey until 27 May. If you're knowledgable about natural history, botany, zoology, ornithology, fungi or insects, and would like to join in, please contact

1 comment
Biodiversity, Cornwall

How to live a life that makes you, others and the planet happy

April 18, 2011
Author: Guest

Forget lists about turning your thermostat down one degree, says Eden's Tony Kendle. Here's the mother of all top 10s – on living a life that makes you, others and the planet happy.

There’s no shortage of top tips for a greener life: fitting energy-saving lightbulbs and so on. But are they useful? Yes and no. They can trivialise the issues; saving the world isn’t just a matter of what goes in your shopping basket, and it takes the heat off the big guys. But if we had to write our own top 10 tips (well, 11 actually!), they’d go like this:

1. Do stuff
Don’t waste it, turn it off, turn it down, do it less, do it local, do it yourself, recycle, swap, repair, share.

2. Be hopeful
Hope isn’t just about crossing your fingers. Without it we could get cynical and frozen in despair. Hope is the fuel – but it only works if you do something.

3. Learn about your life
Is having ‘stuff’ bad? Not always: trade is not the same as consumption and can support livelihoods. Understand what sustains you and what you need to care about. Learning new talents and skills can help you get there.

4. Increase your reach
There’s only so much you can do on your own. Try working with or through other organisations. Also don’t forget that your wallet is your weapon. Make buying choices that help good things happen – worldwide.

5. Be angry at the things you can’t change...
but think about who can change them. Demand that governments, companies and big organisations change with us and give us real choices.

6. Imagine different things
The 21st century will be a time of transformation. Meet different people, explore different things, read different books, try out new ideas.

7. Give gifts and give thanks
Understand why we need each other. This is a time to support each other, to work together and build communities.

8. Get out more
People can’t care about what they don’t understand and don’t have some sense of connection to. So we need to get out and down in that dirt lest we forget how it keeps us alive. Play together, learn, explore and have adventures.

9. Forgive yourself (and others)
Sustainable development will be a territory for endless exploration. Learn from mistakes. We make mistakes because we act, strive and aim high – and that is what makes us human.

10. Have fun
‘Living a sustainable life’ isn’t all about ‘don’t do this’ sucking the joy out of living. Where is the adventure in that? There are worlds of possibility out there. Rich cultures, rich experiences, music, laughter, fun and just enjoying life more – all foundations for a better future!

11. Be the change you wish to see in the world
Gandhi’s saying sounds like something from a hippie poster, but actually it was one of the greatest social insights of the 20th century. So, do everything positive you can, not because a list has told you to but because it’s who you want to be.

Tony Kendle is Foundation Director at the Eden Project. Find out about the inspiring programmes that Eden is doing to be the change we'd like to see in the world.

1 comment
Eden's 10th birthday, Environment, Ideas
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