The county’s role in the story of science and its remarkable natural landscape are the subjects of an exciting new arts and culture celebration, writes Kate Simon

Cheshire goes under the spotlight in this year of the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landings and the Forestry Commission’s 100th birthday. This is the home of Jodrell Bank, the world-leading observatory that captured the first images of Apollo 11 touching down on the moon in 1969. It’s also the location of one of Britain’s oldest forests, Delamere, a remnant of Mara and Mondrem, the medieval hunting grounds of the Norman Earls of Chester.

To mark the county’s special relationship with the world of science and the great outdoors, an exciting celebration of both, viewed through the prism of arts and culture, was being unveiled as The Ultimate Guide went to press. Here are just some of the highlights to look forward to during the coming months.

The giant white dish of the Lovell Telescope, an iconic sight on the Cheshire Plain, provides the dramatic backdrop for bluedot, four days of ‘music, science, cosmic culture and more’. This year’s literally stellar line-up includes performances by Kraftwerk 3-D, New Order and The Hallé, and science and culture events with Helen Sharman, James Burke and Tom Shakespeare among others. Luke Jerram’s ‘Museum of the Moon’ installation will be on display. And listen out for the familiar swanee-whistle call of the Clangers, who’ll be making an appearance with screenings, storytelling sessions – and knitting workshops. Go to discoverthebluedot.com.

Delamere Forest provides a bucolic backdrop for this year’s headliners at Forest Live, which offers a unique way to experience these precious woodlands. Tears for Fears, Paul Weller and Jess Glynne are the superstars who will perform live beneath the canopy to thousands of fans over the weekend of 21 to 23 June. As the Forestry Commission was set up in 1919 to restore the nation’s woods and forests following the First World War, it’s good to know that your ticket money will help fund the Commission’s ongoing work. Go to forestryengland.uk/music.

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre in Chester celebrates 10 years of al-fresco performances this summer with a new production of The Borrowers (13 July-25 August). Mary Norton’s classic tale about the little people who live beneath the floorboards and borrow to survive will be produced by the nationally acclaimed theatre company at Storyhouse, Chester’s award-winning cultural centre. Pack a picnic – and a cushion – and take your seat in the audience at this theatre-in-the-round in the city’s premier green space. This summer’s triple bill also includes Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (5 July-24 August) and Henry V (26 July-25 August). Go to grosvenorparkopenairtheatre.co.uk.

The hunt is on for the ways to describe the natural world this year at Lyme Park, Dunham Massey and Quarry Bank, as they host the National Trust’s new family trail, The Lost Words. Inspired by the spell book of the same name by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, it’s time to reclaim the language, with words such as ‘bramble’ and ‘conker’ disappearing from the Oxford Junior Dictionary in favour of the likes of ‘chatroom’ and ‘broadband’. Go to nationaltrust.org.uk/features/the-lost-words-family-trail

Tatton Park provides the grandest of arenas this summer for The Luna Cinema (thelunacinema.com/tatton-park). Watch A Star is Born, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again or Bohemian Rhapsody (23-25 August) on the giant screen under the stars. No need to bring a picnic here, there’ll be a bar and gourmet food stalls to keep you fed and watered. Meanwhile, Moonlight Flicks returns to Chester’s Roman Gardens (3 July-27 August), with a choice of movies that was still under wraps at the time of writing. 

Find out more here.

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