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Sunday, 17 March, 2002, 15:15 GMT
Eden Project celebrates first birthday
Eden AFP
A walkway takes people through the humid zone
Cornwall's popular Eden Project is one year old on Monday and is celebrating its birthday with a visit from Tourism Minister Kim Howells.

The ambitious project has boasted nearly two million visitors from around the world since its opening.

The 86m project attracted 7,000 visitors to its official opening, despite a protest by farmers who said it should not have taken place because of the foot-and-mouth crisis.

It is located in a former clay pit near St Austell and is dominated by two giant, futuristic domes, called biomes, which have been built to recreate the Earth's different climates.

'Great attraction'

Each biome houses thousands of different plant species. Calling itself "a gateway into the world of plants and people", the Eden Project aims to show how sustainable development depends on plants.


In its first nine months it generated 120m of secondary spend through restaurants and hotels.

Malcolm Bell, Head of South West Tourism
The largest of the conservatories is the humid tropics biome, which is tall enough to house Nelson's Column.

Snaking boardwalks lead visitors through 12,000 plants, taking them from the Oceanic Islands to Malaysia and from West Africa to South America.

Malcolm Bell, Head of South West Tourism, said the project had been a great tourist attraction.

'Touched a note'

"It's approaching two million visitors now, which is a staggering success," he said.

"In its first nine months, it generated 120m of secondary spend through restaurants and hotels and the like.

"I think it has touched a note with people's concerns about the environment and what we are doing to the planet's ecology.

"We would like to see it develop - the next stage is development of tourism in the region with the Eden Project spearheading it."



See also:

15 Mar 01 | Sci/Tech
UK's hi-tech 'Garden of Eden'
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