** History File**

Eden ready to open early? 

The £80 million "eighth wonder of the world" Eden Project could open ahead of schedule, it has been revealed.

With the largest Humid Tropics biome, which is taller than the Tower of London, now completely covered in the high-tech transparent foil Ethyltetrafluorethylene (ETFE), visitors to the former Bodelva china clay pit can now judge for themselves what the full impact of the Eden experience will be.

If glass had been used the entire structure would have needed three times as much steel to support it, so the team chose to use ETFE. A single panel is tough enough to take the weight of an entire rugby team, while a London taxi would fit in the largest of the inflated pillows.

Highly skilled rope access technicians have now finished installing the main biome's 728 hexagonal roofing foils with three layers of ETFE welded together at the edges and inflated into giant pillows two metres deep.

Once complete the large biome will be filled with plants and products from Amazonia, West Africa, Malaysia and Oceana.

In the six weeks since the opening of Eden's Visitor Centre in May, more than 110,000 people have headed to the site to watch the ‘big build.' 

And after the project was featured on last week's midweek National Lottery Show and Eden creator Tim Smit's suggestion that London's Millennium Dome could be used for an English Gardens attraction, visitor numbers have been even higher.

Eden spokesman Paul Travers said this week that he could not rule out the possibility that Eden could open before the Easter 2001 target date.

"If our plants are ready, there is every possibility that we could open earlier. We would certainly consider it, but no firm decision has been made and will not be made in the near future," said Mr Travers.

July 6, 2000  (Cornish Guardian)

Back to Eden


A cluster of hi-tech firms could set up to support the work of those moving into the county. It could also help stem the brain drain of Cornish youngsters forced to leave the county to find work.

Relocating parts of their business to Cornwall could become an even more attractive proposition for multi-nationals in the wake of Cornwall's successful bid for Objective One funding.

Construction will include two massive plant conservatories and an estimated three quarters of a million visitors a year will see coconuts, bananas, rice, cotton, hemp and bamboo growing in the heart of Cornwall. The larger biome will create the climate of the humid tropics while the second will recreate a warm temperate climate, with plants from the Mediterranean, South Africa and the south western USA.

Oranges, olives and grapes will all be growing under one roof. Lemons and bananas, pictured left and right, are already fruiting in the nurseries. The 12 acres of grounds will be given over to plant displays from our temperate climate.

Eden money has come from: private sector funds £17.58m; Millennium Commission £37.15m; English Partnerships £3m; other grants £5m; European Regional Development Fund/Single Regeneration Budget £10m; Restormel Borough Council/Cornwall County Council/Prosper £1.7m; charitable donations (£1m).                   
(Cornish Guardian)

                                                                    Countdown to Eden opening 

Cornwall's £80 million Eden Project will open its doors to the public on Saturday, March 17, when visitors will have the chance to see the unique attraction in all its glory. 

With more than 400,000 visitors flocking to see the giant dome-shaped greenhouses being constructed last year, and worldwide media attention, the opening is bound to attract the crowds keen to see how the former clay pit at Bodelva, near St Austell, has been transformed. 

But the project’s management is urging people not to rush all at once as their Eden experience could be tainted if the site is overcrowded.

On view will be two huge biomes, the largest being the humid tropic dome which will house trees and plants from the Amazon, Africa and Malaysia, including rubber, coconuts and rice. The warm temperate biome will feature plants and trees from the Mediterranean, including oranges, olives and grape vines.

The visitor centre had been completely revamped and a smart new restaurant will be open for business. 

However, Kevin Viner, who was appointed executive chef at Cornwall’s Eden Project will no longer be working with the venue’s catering team.

Mr Viner, who is the proprietor of Falmouth’s  Pennypots restaurant, told The West Briton that he had decided to part company with the project.

He said: “I am very disappointed with the way the catering at Eden has been put together and we have had to part company. I don’t want people to think that I am associated with the project.”

The Eden Project declined to comment on his departure.

  February 25, 2001  
(The West Briton)  



Dr  Herbert Fitz the inventor of ETFE  report 11/03/01   Thank you for sending this email


Dear Keith, 


Congratulation to Your www.site eden .It might interest You - the ETFE -Fluoropolymer film was invented and developed 25 years ago by the Hoechst A.G.
/ Germany / Gendorf works ( Bavaria ) - now ( since 1996 DYNEON GmbH = 3 M company / USA ).In the early days the basic idea was to use the film for solar -collectors , later on as a long lasting membrane material for roofing systems. Field testing of the ETFE - film in arizona / USA showed no change in the optical & mechanical properties after 10 years exposure and we have now over 20 years samples - exposed to weather in germany - no change at all .
In the fluoropolymer family - ETFE as a film for roofing systems - shows the most versatile properties .The coming development is a coated ETFE - filament - fabric .
Anyhow - I am very pleased what happened in Your country in the use of the ETFE - film .
Last but not least - the ETFE - film was created in my lab - when I was a young
polymerchemist at Hoechst A.G.
Wishing You and Your family the very best - Yours sincerely
Dr.Herbert Fitz ( retired polymerchemist Hoechst.A.G )
Dear Keith ,
Thanks for your e - mail today .Lets see who might be interested in the ETFE Film story .
What I have not mentioned in my story was , that the ETFE film compared with window glass ( green house quality ) shows no change of the the solar - spectrum ( daylight / sunlight ) . If You grow tomatos , roses and so on - plants which need the UV light from the sun - You will find a remarkable difference in the growing results and the quality .( taste of the tomatos ) .
regards - the very best : Herbert ( Dr.H.Fitz )

**History File**

Links to other reports and pictures

Humid Tropics Biome Planting Starts report 06/10/00

Tommy the Gecko and biome planting report 06/10/00

 Inside The Humid biome Pictures 06/10/00

Virtual Visit to Eden.  Photo guide to your Eden visit.

Trade and Industry Minister visits Eden (pictures) 05/09/00

Final roofing panels go in the biomes today 22/08/00

Final roofing panel report (Cornish Guardian) 23/08/00

Eden gets Charlie's stamp of approval 03/08/00

First Photos from inside the Humid Tropics Biome June 2000

Hot links to photos on Map of Eden

The information on this site is not in anyway endorsed by the Eden Project