Described as a "living theater of plants and people," the Eden Project is an international visitor attraction set in a former clay quarry in Cornwall, England. The focus of the 280,000-square-foot gardens is on the two giant greenhouses, which simulate Mediterranean and tropical climates for trees and plants. Once described as a "giant blanc-mange [pudding] in a pit," the Humid Tropics Biome could now hold the Tower of London and is 11 double-decker buses high, making the Guinness Book of World Records.
The nonprofit Eden Project, owned by the Eden Trust, is ethically driven but also somewhat commercial—marketing a line of Eden natural body care products, for instance—since it needs revenue to preserve its independence. As Eden Project creator Tim Smit says, "We want to maintain a strong and diverse financial base. But Eden is not for sale, because we believe it should belong to everyone." The Project, which received substantial funding from the British lottery, opened to great acclaim in 2000.