The Centre for UK Biodiversity's collections

Explore the incredible diversity of British natural history with the wide range of specimen collections in the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity.

If you need help using the collections, the Centre's staff are there to help.  

Book a visit to the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity

There are 3 types of collections depending on what you want to do.

Handling collection

If you have a common identification question, the handling collection is where to start.  These specimens will help you answer the most common questions and will support our Identification and Advisory Service.

Public enquiries

Synoptic collection

Need help identifying animals and plants? The synoptic collection is designed to help with identification and contains several examples of each species. 

We are developing the synoptic collections and will eventually hold almost all specimens found in the UK, either physically or as images online. 

We are currently preparing our synoptic collections for fossils, insects and lichens.

Reference collection

If you are an experienced naturalist, book a visit to the centre to use the reference or research collection. 

These currently include more than 6,000 drawers of the British herbarium and over 4,000 drawers of the Rothschild Cockayne Kettlewell collection of butterflies and moths. These collections are stored in special environmentally controlled conditions to preserve and protect them.