An Introduction to the Eden Project from Tim Smit

Watch Tim Smit explain how Eden inspires people to connect with our natural world.

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A little over a decade ago the scene behind the Viewing Platform would have looked very different. The Bodelva china clay pit, which had come to the end of its economic life, was a barren landscape with no soil and no plants.

Today, the site houses around a million plants and welcomes a million or so visitors a year. Eden aims to demonstrate and communicate a message of hope: that whoever you are and whatever you do, you can work with others and with nature to make a difference; you can leave things better than you found them.

Our Green Team does some pretty extreme gardening:

  • They’ve planted millions of plants since we opened, and plant another 60,000 new ones annually, plus over half a million bulbs every autumn.
  • They start at 7.30am every day to prune and water before visitors arrive, and do 50 hours of weeding a week in the summer.
  • They remove about 25 square metres of green waste from the site every week, which they turn into over 120 tonnes of compost each year.
  • Rainforest trees are pruned by abseilers, from a cherry picker.
  • The team propagates plants in our own nursery just down the road, keeping a record of every plant on site, and maintaining a large seed library.