The Eden Project is an educational charity founded by Sir Tim Smit, best known for its massive visitor destination in Cornwall.
The huge biomes, built on a former china clay pit, are iconic but the initiative has grown to include rainforest research, wellbeing projects and has recently expanded into geothermal energy – generating energy from the ground.
The biomes house the largest rainforest in captivity and the site hosts exhibitions, school visits and concerts – including rock superstars Oasis, who performed in 2009.
Eden had been in the making for six years before it opened in March 2001.
Funded by grants loans and sponsorships, then match funded by the Millenium Commission.
The first tree was planted in the rainforest biome in September 2000.
Now there are more than 1,000 different plant species in the rainforest, many grown from seed at the Eden nursery.
It is also home to the National Wildflower Centre, where work is ongoing to return extinct flowers back to the UK. In 2016, 40 coast redwood tree saplings were planted at the site, the first time the species had been introduced to Europe.
It is hoped the work will replace the redwoods which have been lost to fire, drought and felling over the last 150 years.
The Eden stage has welcomed some of the UK’s biggest music stars. Acts including Oasis, Amy Winehouse, Muse and Paolo Nutini have performed at Eden Sessions festivals.
How a wedding venue and featuring a youth hostel and treetop walkway, Eden welcomes more than one million visitors every year.
Planning permission has been granted to build a hotel on the outskirts of the site, which it is hoped will open next year.