Series of environmental events in Rochdale also includes a food science show

A huge replica of planet Earth is coming to Rochdale. The internationally renowned Gaia installation will be available to visit at Number One Riverside in the town centre from Saturday 20 November until Christmas Eve.

We hope Gaia will spark the imagination of those who visit and help inspire us all to think about the changes we can make to protect our precious planet

As many of us are more and more focused on (and lying awake panicking about - or is that just us?) environmental issues. This chance to marvel at a replica of our earth, and consider how precious and mind-blowing it is, looks to be an unmissable experience for Rochdale and Greater Manchester in general.

Earth Exhibit Gaia Coming To Rochdale Photo By Natural Environment Research Council Nerc
You're looking at planet earth Naural Environment Research Council (NERC)

UK artist Luke Jerram’s internationally renowned “Gaia” installation is seven metres in diameter and created from detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface. It will provide the opportunity to see the planet on a huge scale, floating in three dimensions. A surround-sound composition by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones will be played alongside the sculpture.

In addition to the Gaia installation, Rochdale council has put together a number of other environmentally themed special events.

Colour changing cocktails, checmical reactions and big bangs

During Gaia’s five-week Rochdale residency, television presenter and “Gastronaut” Stefan Gates will perform his Extreme Science show. Promising "an unforgettable, explosive edible adventure" exploring the bizarre science behind our food. Expect vortex cannons, explosions, glowing drinks, edible chemical reactions, colour-changing cocktails. If you're of nervous disposition, you might want to stand well back as audience interaction is encouraged. 

Entomophagist Stefan Gates Holds An Insect On A Fork As He Prepares To Visit Rochdale For An Extraordinary Insects Event
Would you tuck into an insect tasting menu?

Stefan has presented over 20 television series including the acclaimed CBBC series Incredible Edibles and Gastronauts. He is renowned for his world-class science and food shows.If you’re at the end of your tether with thoughts of soft play centres and Motherland-esque playdates, this one should tick the boxes for grown-ups as well as little buggers.

An exciting series of environmental events for Rochdale

The exhibition and supporting events are being staged in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council and Your Trust (formerly Link4Life), supported financially by the Garfield Weston Foundation.   

Councillor Sue Smith, cabinet member for communities and co-operation at Rochdale Borough Council said: "Gaia is uniquely inspiring and seeing it up close in Number One Riverside is going to be amazing.  But we also have this exciting line-up of other things to see and do whilst it’s here. The activities that will run during Gaia’s stay in Rochdale around the themes of sustainability, lifecycles and looking after the environment, are something we can all relate to. It will be an opportunity to give visitors a new perspective of our place on the planet and for children and their families, a lot of fun too.”

Darren Grice, deputy chief executive of Your Trust added: “We’re delighted to be supporting Gaia in Rochdale. Just like Dippy, we hope Gaia will spark the imagination of those who visit and help inspire us all to think about the changes we can make to protect our precious planet.”   

Why not make a meal of it and visit one of Rochdale's best restaurants while you're in the area? We can't promise glow in the dark drinks will be on the menu though.

Gaia will be at Number One Riverside, Smith Street Rochdale OL16 1XU from 20 Nov - 24 Dec 2021.

It will be open to the public seven days a week, 9am-5.30pm weekdays (extended until 6.30pm on Mondays) and 10am-6pm on Saturdays and 1pm-6pm on Sundays. 

NB: This article was updated on 22/10/21 as Stefan's show has now changed to a different theme.

More events surrounding the Gaia installation in Rochdale

The Storm is a “powerful live theatre production that creatively confronts the climate emergency” from Rochdale’s M6 Theatre Company. It will be [erformed for the public at Number One Riverside and also tour local schools.

Mammoth is a new production from Skylight Circus "combining acrobatics, music and stunning lighting effects to tell a thought-provoking story about the big climate issues including extinction and protection of our natural environment”.

Global Circus will be performed beneath Gaia by Skylight Circus Arts. Animated with specially commissioned music it will be presented live by a local group of asylum seekers and refugees.

A unique yoga session will be held underneath Gaia. It will be accompanied by a visual arts session with Cartwheel Arts.

The region’s schools will also take part in photography competitions, astronaut classes, music sessions and LGBTQ+-community-led art sessions all with the aim of raising awareness about environmental issues and climate change.

Dates and more details for the above to be announced and we will update this article when we have them.

Read next: Trees preserved: wow, a city centre residents' campaign actually wins

Read again: Andrew Nutter has sold his Rochdale restaurant Nutters

Don't miss out

Get the latest food & drink news and exclusive offers by email.