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Darwin event described as an inspiration

  • Charles Darwin Shrewsbury

“Inspirational”, “thought-provoking” and “a wonderful highlight” are just some of the words used to describe a study day on Charles Darwin’s childhood garden organised by University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) and Shropshire Wildlife Trust.

People shared the feedback after being invited to take part in the unique event in Shrewsbury, focused on the childhood garden of the English naturalist whose theory of natural selection became the foundation of modern evolutionary studies.

The site currently being restored by Shropshire Wildlife Trust is part of the garden that sparked Darwin’s boyhood imagination and his lifelong curiosity about the natural world.

People had the opportunity, on Tuesday 22nd March, to explore surviving parts of the Darwin family’s garden and see how it influenced Darwin’s passionate interest in nature and evolution. A series of workshops and talks with experts in the field gave those who attended the chance to take a closer look at the flora and fauna in the garden, develop creative responses to the garden, and suggest ideas for the site's future development.

The activities were spread between the garden at The Mount and nearby Guildhall, UCS’s learning and research base at Frankwell Quay.

The feedback included the following comment: “An excellent and thought-provoking introduction to the project. A good mix of speakers with differing professional skills - and visions. The organisers raised our interest and enthusiasm - to the level of volunteering in the future.”

Another member of the group said: “A very enjoyable, inspirational day. Thought-provoking and informative, enjoyed both the practical and literary elements. Thank you.”

While another said: “Wide-ranging and stimulating. Very good range of contributors. Visit to the actual garden a wonderful highlight. Discussion at the end opened up the philosophical issues well.”

Dr Jude Piesse, Lecturer in English at UCS, added: “I'd like to say thank you to all the experts who joined us for the day and to everyone who attended for their wonderful enthusiasm and contributions.”

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