ASTRONOMERS, birds of prey, athletes, chefs artists, comedians and musicians from all over the world will descend on the streets of Chelmsford for the British Science Festival 2021.

Taking place in September, the festival features more than 100 free events, covering everything from local wildlife to robotics.

Held in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), this year’s programme has been specially curated to highlight Chelmsford’s strengths, particularly in sustainability, healthcare, and social sciences.

The lineup features 100 free outdoor talks, immersive installations, and socially distanced indoor events.

Here are some of the events taking place:

The programme includes a takeover of Bell Meadow on the first day, featuring a range of talks and workshops throughout the afternoon.

The Industry in Chelmsford Walking Tour will shed light on the city's rich industirla heritage.

For those looking to enjoy the great outdoors, The Peregrine audio escape trail will take visitors on an audio tour of a 1.5 mile stretch of Chelmer Valley Nature Reserve - narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

The Margaret Cavendish poetry club will explore the life of Margaret Cavendish, a prominent early science writer.

Bell Meadow Park's listening bench will also be open to the public throughout the festival.

In conjunction with the Eden Project, a workshop is being held to help Chelmsford residents craft their own mini meadow.

At The Civic Theatre Sir Patrick Vallance, the country's chief scientific advisor, and Dr Jenny Harries OBE, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, will be answering questions about the pandemic.

Also at the civic theatre, residents can take part in a recording of the BBC's The Sky at Night.

On Friday historian Kate Lister will discuss the history of human sexuality in her talk Sex, Shame and Stigma at Hot Box Live Events.

Residents can also experience Yellowstone's geothermal features in a completely new way in Yellowstone's geysers in concert.

There's also plenty on offer for young audiences, including a special day of family activities hosted by ARU. The event will be a day of discovery and exploration, with the campus taken over with dozens of stalls, workshops, talks, and performances.

Antonio Benitez, Director of the British Science Festival said: “Given the challenges of the past sixteen months for people and communities, and the difficulties faced by the festivals and live events sector, we feel incredibly pleased and proud to be presenting this ambitious and inspiring programme with Anglia Ruskin University.

“We have curated a range of events that highlight both local stories and issues of international relevance, and celebrate the breadth and creativity of the cutting-edge research taking place in Chelmsford and across the UK.

"There will be opportunities to explore issues relating to the pandemic and other pressing concerns such as climate change, or alternatively to get as far away from the day-to-day as possible with interactive and immersive installations and experiences.

“We are looking forward to welcoming audiences to Chelmsford and seeing the programme come to life in September, and the team are of course working hard behind the scenes to ensure that the Festival is delivered in a safe and COVID-secure way.”

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When is the festival and how do I attend?

The first British Science Festival meeting took place in York in 1831 and is one of the British Science Association’s leading engagement programmes.

This is the first time in the festival’s history that the event will be hosted in the city of Chelmsford, and its first visit to the county of Essex as well.

It takes place from September 7 to September 11.

All tickets are completely free, but booking is essential.

More information about each event and ticket bookings can be found at