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A Visit to The Eden Project

At the weekend I took our kids on a trip to the Eden Project, just outside of St Austell. They were offering free admission over several weekends to lots of groups within Cornwall. As home educators, we qualified for this one and as we haven’t been for several years, we were keen to go along.
It had already been a busy weekend. We had been selling our t-shirts and bags at the Big Sheep Christmas Market on the Saturday. Arwen, our oldest daughter had been helping to run art workshops for kids in Plymouth. So in the end we didn’t make it out of the house until lunchtime.
As we arrived we got tangled up in a large group of Santas, who had gathered to take part in a charity fun run. As it was also starting to rain, we quickly headed into the Core Building to see the Invisible Worlds exhibit.

 Orin, Lark and Wren were particularly impressed by the enormous Infinity Blue sculpture.
At 8 metres tall this whopper of a ceramic sculpture blows out large vapour rings at different heights and angles, every minute or so.
It was made to celebrate cyanobacteria, which started producing oxygen 3 billion years ago.
It certainly captured the imagination of all the children in the room, who were all eagerly trying to catch one of the rings.
They also enjoyed the interactive screens in the Vast Invisible section of the exhibit. Here you can make an ET shaped shadow follow your movements.
Arwen and Niamh were really impressed by the biology themed artworks on display. Our favourites were the paper sculpture of a bacterium by Rogan Brown and Rebecca D Harris’ embroidery showing microbes on the human body.

Although we’ve seen it many times before, Peter Randall-Page’s sculpture, The Seed, was just as impressive.
Weighing more than 70 tonnes, this beautiful seed was carved out of one gigantic piece of Cornish Granite.

By this time the rain had stopped and the Santas had passed by, so we headed out into the gardens.
Lots of people were enjoying the ice skating that takes place at Eden each winter. We carried on to the biomes, passing the giant bee sculpture on the way.
We got a little bit distracted in the smaller of Eden’s two shops., where there are all sorts of ethically sourced gifts. But soon we were trekking through the rainforest enjoying all it’s wonders. Favourites were the bananas and pineapples growing in December and the Roul Roul birds that wander freely inside the biome.
There’s lots to learn about, with exhibits about rubber, coffee, rice and the destruction of forest fires.
We gave the jungle walkway a miss because we had the pushchair with us and instead went to cool down in the mediterranean biome. The light was starting to fade by this point, but Eden was open well into the evening and the plants and sculptures were only enhanced by the lighting.

Wren, who has just started taking her first steps, took the opportunity to have a little patter about on the mosaic pathways.

Although the land train looked tempting to take us back to the top, we’re all trying to get more exercise, so we opted to walk instead.
It was a great afternoon, even though we were all tired from the day before and we must say a big thank you to The Eden Project for our day out.