With reference to Martin Pawley's article on the Eden Project (AJ 12.7.01), I went for the first time last year before the biomes were finished and for the second time this year on 2 July (arriving at noon). I had heard bad reports about the traffic problems, and as I was going with elderly relatives (in their seventies), I was worried how they would cope with queues and access to the facilities.
On arrival there was a sea of parked cars but my fears were unfounded - we were immediately directed to a nearly empty car park.Next to the car park was a queue for a free bus that would take us to the centre. This bus filled up immediately but another one arrived within a couple of minutes. At the centre there was only a few minutes queue for tickets. Despite the large numbers of people around, nowhere felt crowded, either outside or within the biomes.
I thought the range of plants and trees was superb. With the best will in the world forests cannot be created overnight. One of the pleasures of the project will be to return to see how much has grown and what has been added.
Mr Pawley mentions 'poor sculpture'. The collection includes the magnificent Horse by Heather Jansch which was exhibited at 'The Shape of the Century - 100 Years of British Sculpture'.What better sculpture can you get on a family day out?
There were several places to eat at extremely reasonable prices and lots of very clean loos. The staff were friendly and enthusiastic and the whole place had a very relaxed atmosphere.
We stayed for four hours and could easily have stayed longer.
I urge all AJ readers not to be put off by Mr Pawley's negative article. The Eden Project is extremely well run and a smashing day out for all ages.
Jan Masson Milton Keynes