Visitors to Shrewsbury looked a little bemused at the sight of dozens of “Charles Darwins” running around the town’s Quarry Park.

The spectacle on Saturday (February 9) was part of the month-long DarwIN Shrewsbury Festival, with participants of the weekly Parkrun being encouraged to dress up in a costume inspired by Charles Darwin, or wear a special Darwin mask provided by the organisers.

Aleks Vladimirov, partnerships manager at Shrewsbury BID which co-ordinates the festival, said: “Shrewsbury Parkrun is a really successful and popular initiative and we were delighted they got involved with the Darwin Festival again.

“The festival is made up of all sorts of different events designed to encourage curiosity and independent thinking.

“There are more than 30 free events taking place all over the town, ranging from guided tours of Darwin’s old haunts to brain-teasing lectures and inspirational workshops for children.”

Events include a number of talks and lectures at University Centre Shrewsbury and an exhibition about Darwin’s early life hosted by Shrewsbury Civic Society at The Bear Steps Gallery throughout the month, which will include a life-size figure of Darwin which people can have their photo taken with.

There will be a Darwin themed wild play for youngsters on February 20 where children get the opportunity to understand the wildlife that would have been of significant interest to Darwin.

Guided tours of Darwin’s childhood in Shrewsbury will be held on set days during the festival, with the tour starting from St Chad’s Church and focussing on parts of the town which acted as his inspiration. And Darwin’s great, great, great, granddaughter Gwen Burnyeat will be talking about the Colombian peace process from 2012 to 2016 at an event on February 22.

For more information about the events being held during the festival, visit