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.
'One problem of great importance....is 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!