Are you a fan of the 19th Century

scientist, Charles Darwin?

If so, this website is for you!  


This website aims to draw together key publications, media and websites on Charles Darwin for the enthusiast.

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Darwin wrote:

'One problem of great the tendency in organic beings descended from the same stock to diverge in character as they become modified...I can remember the very spot in the road, whilst in my carriage, when to my joy the solution occurred to me; and this was long after I had come to Down.' Charles Darwin, Autobiography 1876


The landscape around Down House is of outstanding universal value because of its unique cultural significance as the open-air laboratory in which the theory of evolution by natural selection was developed.  Down House now lies in the London Borough of Bromley.  You could say that our understanding of biodiversity began in Bromley!


The World Heritage Convention was adopted by UNESCO in 1972. It aims to identify and protect sites of cultural and natural heritage which are of global value for future generations.  In 2005 the World Heritage Committee clearly stated that it wished to have more sites of scientific significance represented on the list of World Heritage Sites.  If a bid were to be successful, Darwin’s Landscape Laboratory would be the first of the series.


A bid for World Heritage Status at Downe was made in 2006 and 2009.  The first bid was  unsuccessful.  The status of the second has been deferred by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. As such, Darwin’s Landscape Laboratory has been placed on the 2012 Tentative List of UK sites wishing to be inscribed for World Heritage status.  The sites on the list announced by Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose were:


Chatham Dockyard and its Defences, Kent, England

Creswell Crags, Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire, England

Englands Lake District, Cumbria

Gorhams Cave Complex, Gibraltar

The Island of St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean

Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire, England

Mousa, Old Scatness & Jarlshof, Shetland, Scotland

Slate Industry of North Wales

The Flow Country, Scotland

The Forth Bridge (Rail), Scotland

Turks & Caicos Islands, West Indies

Two sites that are being considered by UNESCO

already also joined the Tentative List, they are:

Twin Monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow, Sunderland

and South Tyneside, England

Darwins Landscape Laboratory, England


Look at the nomination document and management

plan put together by the Darwin’s Landscape Laboratory

Steering Group in 2009 here to find out why the area

is so worthy of inscription!


Can the inscription of 'Darwin's Landscape Laboratory' at Downe be justified?  Yes!

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