Charles Darwin, England’s most treasured naturalist, grew up in his parents’ home, a manor house with a seven-acre estate near Shrewsbury in Shropshire. He was raised with the right to roam through a broad expanse of Nature, and by crawling on his hands and knees through woodland, by upturning stones and fallen logs, he discovered not just earwigs and worms but a love of discovery itself. Close observation, exploration, fascination, wonder – the whole course of science changed, not in the Beagle’s voyage to the Galápagos, but in those seven acres in the West Midlands.

But Darwin came from ...


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