Today, on the way North from Cornwall, I had the great privilege of visiting the Eden Project. This is something I’ve heard plenty about from NZ, but never really imagined I’d get the chance to see up close and personal. It is a phenomenal undertaking – comprising a couple of large bio-domes, one housing plants from the tropical rainforest countries and the other from drier, desert-like regions. Outside there’s a huge area devoted to plantings from a variety of places. In addition there is a vast building known as The Core, that houses many educational exhibits – plus the building itself has some pretty interesting features that exemplify the things the project stands for.
The Eden project is wholly owned by the Eden Trust, an educational charity that uses exhibits, events, workshops and educational programmes to remind people of our dependence on, and connection to, the natural world. It’s a truly awe-inspiring place to visit, built entirely in what was one of the pits from which they excavated the white china clay the area is reknown for.
The visit to this site had double signifance for me – while visiting some of my past in Cornwall, I have come to learn that my surname is actually Cornish for “White Clay”, and that this area is where relatives of mine with the name Wenmoth have been traced back to as far as the 1200s.