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Darwin

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WHERE DARWIN WORKED
   

WHERE DARWIN WORKED

The nominated World Heritage Property is the area where Charles Darwin lived and worked from 1842 till his death in 1882. Centred around Downe in Kent it covers 7km and includes a diversity of habitats within a small area; species rich chalk grassland on the steep sides of Downe and Cudham Valleys, semi-natural ancient woodland and neutral grassland on the flat land between the valleys and acid heathland and valley mire at Keston in the north

The different habitats provided Darwin with a wide range of plants and animals within 2-3 miles of his house which he could observe and study as he looked for evidence supporting his theory of evolution and the possible mechanism driving species change.

Through looking at plants and animals and the way they are adapted to the place they live, he realised that the mechanism driving evolution was natural selection i.e that plants and animals well adapted to their environment survived to adulthood and were able to breed and pass on whatever made them successful to their offspring. In his autobiography he recalled,

"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 came to Downe."

View the areas listed in the main menu left to find out more about Darwin's studies in each.

"It is humbling and salutary to realise that although as a young man he spent five years sailing round the world, he gathered and collated the vast majority of his eveidence sitting in his study at Down House and observing, with unparalleled acuity, the processes of nature in his own English garden and surroundings." Sir David Attenborough CH FRS.


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