Young naturalists

British wildlife is all around you. Step into your garden or visit your local park and discover hundreds of wonderful creatures, from bees to butterflies, not forgetting the wiggly worms. 

Watch the video above to see some of the insects visiting our Wildlife Garden in May 2011, from ladybird larvae to flower beetles, and find out about the amazing variety you could spot in your own garden.

Explore all types of British species in these pages. Become a real life scientist, identify local wildlife, or get creative and send us your drawings and photographs. It's time to join the buzz!

  • Walking with woodlice
    Woodlouse identification key

    This simple key will help you to identify the woodlice that you are most likely to find.

  • A child taking parat in the OPAL earthworm survey
    OPAL Kids zone

    Build your own wormery, take part in a survey, play online games, and learn about the lives of British insects in the OPAL Kids zone.

  • Coloured drawing pencils
    Picture gallery

    Submit your drawings and photographs of nature and you could see your art online - all wild creatures welcome.

  • Museum entomologist Zoe Adams
    I want to be an 'ologist

    Would you like to be a naturalist when you grow up?  Find out how some of the Museum's scientists started out.

  • A working honeybee, Apis mellifera, visiting a flower and collecting pollen
    Honeybees - what's the buzz?

    Discover the secret lives of bees, from what goes on in a hive to how bees grow up.

  • The wing of a peacock butterfly
    Butterflies - follow the life cycle

    Butterflies may look beautiful but they have to shed a lot of skins before the bright colours emerge.  FInd out the facts.

  • Looking for fossils on a beach (image copyright: Lyme Regis Fossil Festival)
    Fossil hunting guide

    Want to discover fossils and start your own collection? Find out how.

  • Fossil shark tooth
    Fantastic fossils

    Explore fossils found around Britain. What prehistoric creatures could you unearth?

  • Two-spot ladybird
    OPAL Bugs Count survey

    Look for mighty minibeasts living near you and go on a special quest to spot 6 bugs including leopard slugs, two-spot ladybirds and small tortoiseshell butterflies.

  • Participants in the OPAL earthworm survey look for British earthworms in the park
    OPAL earthworm survey

    Earthworms play a vital role in recycling plant nutrients and aerating the soil, but scientists still have a lot to learn about them. Help them find out more by joining the earthworm hunt in your local park or garden.

  • A twig with yellow Xanthoria and grey Physcia - both pollution tolerant lichens
    OPAL air survey

    Find out how much pollution there is in your local area by looking for lichens, which are natural indicators of air pollution.

  • A child meeting the dinosaurs at the Museum
    Join the Museum

    Become a member of the Museum to get sneak previews of exhibitions, behind-the-scenes tours and fun free stuff including our child Members' magazine.

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Last year nearly 100,000 specimens were loaned to scientific institutions and researchers worldwide.