The group co-ordinating the DarwIN Shrewsbury Festival says a record number of events were held this year.

More than 30 free events were held during February aimed at all ages and organised by a variety of groups and individuals across the town – including an appearance by Darwin’s great, great, great granddaughter Gwen Burnyeat.

The festival also brought Shrewsbury and the city of Darwin in Australia closer together – with the hope of greater collaboration in the future.

Aleks Vladimirov, partnerships manager at Shrewsbury BID which co-ordinated the festival, said: “The third festival once again proved very successful and the town welcomed many visitors to take in the wide range of events organised.

“It’s important to recognise the efforts of all those people involved who organised, hosted and presented a record number of events, all aimed at inspiring curiosity and independent thinking.”

The festival got off to a great start with the final of the Shropshire Young Thinkers’ Competition with more than 500 entrants taking part by penning letters aimed at enticing Darwin to take a journey into the past, present or future in the real world or some imaginary place.

It was organised by Morris & Company and University Centre Shrewsbury and was aimed at youngsters between the ages of 7 and 16.

Other events included guided tours of Darwin’s childhood in Shrewsbury, focusing on his early years and the parts of the town which acted as the inspiration for him to be curious and think independently.

The event involving Gwen Burnyeat saw her speak about the Colombia peace process from 2012 to 2016 which was aimed at ending 50 years of war between the Government and the FARC guerrillas.

Other events included the Darwin Park Run, storytelling workshops, lectures and debates.

Paul Kirkbright, Deputy Provost of University Centre Shrewsbury, visited Darwin in Australia during February. The city stages its own tribute each year to Darwin around the time of his birthday.

Mr Kirkbright’s visit was aimed at fostering closer links which could include a scholarship project and student exchange programme.