Natural History Overview
Our natural history collection of around 180,000 specimens covers most aspects of the natural world.
If you are interested in nature, then look no further than the Herbert.
We have a wide range of natural history collections. There are around 180,000 specimens. They are used for research, exhibitions and lifelong learning.
The collections include taxidermy specimens of birds, fish and mammals. These are both mounts, some of which can be seen in What's in Store and Elements as well as skins – 'flat packed' animals used in research.
The majority of the collection, about 150,000 specimens, is insects. These are both British and exotic ranging from tiny flies a few millimetres long to (relatively!) huge moths. There is a yearly changing display of butterflies in Elements.
We have both marine and freshwater molluscs – or shells – a fantastic range of which can be seen in the Water section of Elements. Alongside these, in the Earth section, you can see some of our rocks, minerals and fossils.
Parts of the collection are of a more sensitive nature: the birds' eggs and the HM Customs & Excise collections. Both demonstrate the importance of respecting and conserving wildlife and the birds' eggs in particular can also be used for research.
Finally, smaller parts of the collection include skeletal material, plant galls, wasp and birds nests and corals.