|Those domes in the old china clay pit look fab.|
This blog is about family travel around the world without leaving the UK. Impossible? No. This post is about how Cornwall's beleaguered Eden Project offers a wonderful day out plus the chance to see plants from all around the world. Somehow the trip also got me thinking about what should be demanded from a job... Words from Nicola Baird (see www.nicolabaird.com for more info about my books and blogs).
|Eden specialises in mixing up art and |
plants creating amazing world lessons.
Eden is the original paradise. A lush garden - warm enough to walk around without clothes and with very tasty fruit trees. Who wouldn't like to visit? Well 2012 may have brought 960,000 visitors to the fabulous Eden Project in Cornwall but sadly the numbers are well down. It's the first time there have been less than a million visiting since Eden opened in 2001.
The result is income is down - a month later (30 Jan 2013) the charity went public with this sad news, saying it needed to reduce annual costs by £2 million for 2013 and so needs to make redundant 70 of its 445 staff. Job losses look set to include gardeners, education workers, events organisers, shop and office staff. Eden is not closing, but it's just so sad that Cornish locals have even less employment opportunities. Apparently the Olympics and the ceaseless rain are to blame.
We visited Eden on the last day of December - a place I've wanted to go to for years but somehow kept overlooking, so foolish. It was raining... but there are two vast domes (basically big greenhouses) to look around so we felt we couldn't have picked better weather.
Eden is a fantastic place. Here are just a few reasons:
|Here's a chilli tasting thermometer.|
|This sign warns just how hot |
Caribbean Scotch Bonnets can be, but some
chillies are even hotter.
- There's a bus route direct from St Austell train station (handy for tourists/day trippers)
- It has fantastic food in the cafe
- The domes are amazing to look at, and around. Would you dare climb the swinging staircase to the very top?
- There's always something new going on - den building, Santa visiting, ice skating, chilli tasting etc
- It's an attraction that takes some beating on a wet day
- You can learn a lot without making any effort at all.
It's easy to become morose about the economic readjustments going on. From my viewpoint it seems like a personal attack when school budgets are slashed, uni students have to pay full whack, sixth form students struggle to pay to get to their colleges and the great eco projects start having pear-shaped wobbles. There are still jobs out there, just not so many at Eden.
|Highbury Fields School choir sing at the recent |
Jack Petchey Foundation awards for Islington schools.
It's such an uplifting event. It makes you ask: "What have you
done today to make you feel good?"
Over to you
Even the original Eden had certain hiccups (snakes, Adam, God snooping around and possibly an over curious Eve). If you've been to the Eden Project in Cornwall what would you do or add to make it even better and get back 70 jobs (without overstaffing)?