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Botanical Garden with a Difference

In southwest England, in a part of the country called Cornwall, something new and different has arrived. Near a small town called St Austell, you will find a hole 50 metres deep and more than 500,000 metres square. In the hole are a number of huge transparent domes. These domes are conservatories holding thousands of plants. Each dome is up to 45 metres high. Around them is an enormous botanical garden. This is 'the Eden project'.

The Eden project opened in March 2001 and cost 80 million to make. It already has a huge number of visitors. It isn't like anywhere else in the world. Because this huge botanical garden is built in a hole it is warmer. It grows many more plants than usual. Its purpose is to teach people about the world's plants. And to show people how we can use the earth's plants and crops without destroying nature. In this way, the future will be safe for man and plants.
To do this, the Eden project has chosen three of the world's climates. They have called these climates 'biomes'. Two of these biomes are found in the huge conservatories. The first biome has a warm, wet tropical climate. You find this climate in countries like Brazil and Malaysia. This conservatory has an area of over 15,500 square metres. You walk through areas of tropical rainforest with tropical fruits. And then you come to an area that looks like a small tropical island, with a 25 metre waterfall. You pass tropical crops, for example, rice and coffee, bananas and rubber. You learn about how the plants are grown and how we can use them without hurting the people or the countries they grow in.

The second biome has a warm, temperate climate. You find this climate in the Mediterranean, California and South Africa. These conservatories are over 6,500 metres square. In the warm, dry air visitors will find different crops: grapes, tomatoes, cotton. You learn about these crops and the countries they grow in. These conservatories are filled with the colour and smell of thousands of flowers.

The third biome has no roof. The plants grow outside. This biome has a temperate climate the climate of Britain and parts of India and Chile. Here, there are flowers that turn their heads to follow the sun. Tea and wheat are grown. And many other plants that will grow in Britains temperate climate.
Each conservatory is made out of thousands of six-sided shapes. They are made of a new, special, transparent plastic called ETFE. It can catch and hold the heat of the sun. People want to visit the Eden project just to see these beautiful conservatories from the outside.

The Eden project is an important place for scientists. They are working together throughout the world to understand how these plants and crops grow and how people can help. It is also a place for everyone to find out how people need plants and how to make sure that the world will always have enough plants and crops.

Penguin Dossiers Copyright Pearson Education Ltd  Photograph of Eden Project Copyright Apex Photo Agency

huge: besar

transparent dome: kubah yang tembus pandang

botanical garden: kebun raya

project: proyek

crop: tanaman, panenan

tropical climate: iklim tropis (daerah katulistiwa)

conservatory: ruangan tertutup yang berdinding kaca dan ditanami tumbuhan.

temperate climate: iklim sedang (tak pernah terlalu panas atau terlalu dingin)

 

 

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