The Nature Collection

Children using magnifying glasses

quote Every child was captivated by the amazing range of exhibits. quote


quote It opened our eyes to nature in a really unforgettable way!  quote

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Site design: Anu West

Welcome to The Nature Collection!

The Nature Collection is an extraordinary collection of animal bones, skeletons, feathers, antlers, skins and photographs. It celebrates the urban wildlife which we see every day in our gardens, parks and beside the river. It is like a travelling natural history museum, which visits schools and nurseries. Normally wild animals are elusive and hard to spot. This collection lets you study all kinds of wildlife objects close up, from all angles, inside as well as out! It shows Nature as you have never seen it before...there in front of your eyes, not in a book or on a screen. Children of all ages have an unforgettable hands-on experience and will be inspired to go out and explore the world around them.

The display celebrates the beauty, colour and intricate detail of a huge variety of British mammals, birds and insects. There are deer antlers, shrew skulls, owl feathers, duck wings, woodpecker feet and snake ribs. There are butterflies, bees, beetles and wasps, owl pellets, nests, mole skin, rabbit fur and a fox's tail ...

Children in class with antlers

The display fills a classroom or hall, spreading over twelve large tables. Everything has been thoroughly cleaned and labelled. Most items are in acrylic cases or mounted on display boards. The collection brings to life topics in the National Curriculum, such as Adaptations, Bones, Local Wildlife, Food Chains and Habitats. There are workshops with slideshows and activity sheets, tailored to different age groups. All are brightly illustrated with photos of the local wildlife.

The Nature Collection has already amazed more than 26,000 children in local schools and nurseries and thousands more at local fairs and events. Teachers enjoy the collection as much as the children. During 2020, the collection is not being taken into schools.

Many exhibits in the collection have come from Richmond Park. The Royal Parks gave special permission to create this collection for educational purposes. Richmond Park's status as a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest means that visitors must not remove anything from the Park.

In 2019/2020. a range of educational resources on local wildlife was created with the schools' catalogue, TTS, using the photos, slideshows and activities developed for the primary school workshops. Follow this link or Click here to learn more.

To see some beautiful photos and find out about British Bird Skeletons, click here. For Mammal Skeletons, click here.

In 2021, The Nature Collection worked with the Primary Science Teaching Trust, PSTT, to develop some free, downloadable teaching resources for the Early Years Foundation Stage, EYFS. These include Wildlife Faces, Dominoes and Photo PowerPoints to explore in the classroom. Click here. Follow the Resources tab.

In the WOWScience blog for September 2021, Susanna Ramsey shares her story about how The Nature Collection began and her passion for local wildlife.