Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity

View into the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity

Are you fascinated by the natural history of the UK? Investigate all aspects of the natural world - from insects and plants to fossils and minerals - with the help of our staff, facilities and resources.

One of the centre's key roles is to support the individuals, schemes and societies that record, monitor and protect the UK's biodiversity.

What you can do in the centre

  • get help identifying specimens you've found with the centre's Identification and Advisory Service
  • make use of our visitor space which includes microscopes and photo-stacking equipment for photographing specimens
  • access our UK biodiversity reference collections of specimens and the London Natural History Society's library
  • if you're a member of a natural history organisation, you can book our workshop space and meeting rooms

If you wish to use the facilities or reference collections, please book a visit.

A member of the ID team helps identify a bone

ID staff in the centre can help you identify plants, animals and fossils that you have found

Identifying your natural history finds

Our Identification and Advisory Service can give advice about wildlife, fossils and other natural history specimens either by email, post, over the phone or face-to-face.

Four ways to identify your specimens and sightings

1) Check our selection of ID guides and apps to see if one is relevant.

2) Email your photos and descriptions to our identification service. Please tell us as much about your specimen as possible, including a detailed description, where and when you saw it, and its approximate size. 

  • For life sciences, such as bugs, bones, and plants: bug@nhm.ac.uk
  • For earth sciences, such as meteorites, minerals, rocks and fossils: esid@nhm.ac.uk

3) Post your specimen or photographs to:
Identification and Advisory Service
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 5BD

4) Visit the centre and show your wildlife or geology specimen to a member of our ID team. Drop in between 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-16.00:

  • Monday to Friday (except bank holidays)
  • the first Saturday of the month (or the second Saturday after a bank holiday weekend)

If you need to discuss the best way for us to help with your enquiry, call our Identification and Advisory Service team on +44 (0)20 7942 5045 or email us.

Commercial enquiries

If your business requires advice or an identification of an object from the natural world (such as an insect, tooth, pest ID or CITES identification etc.) please contact our commercial service.

Photography equipment available to book at the Centre for UK Biodiversity

Focus stacking equipment is available to book at the centre, allowing you to make macro images of small specimens in pin-sharp detail

Accessing equipment and the UK biodiversity reference collections for your own study

You can use the centre's reference collections, equipment and library resources to help with your own identifications and research. We can also provide you with access to the Museum's UK collections of plants, animals, fossils, rocks and minerals.

We have photographic and microscopic equipment that you can book if you'd like to study specimens in more detail. Artists are one group of frequent visitors to the centre as they can book a series of visits to help them make detailed artworks.

If you have specific research needs then please email us.

details of cranefly drawn by artist

Details of cranefly Tipula selene drawn by artist Dawn Painter using the centre's equipment. © Dawn Painter

Other ways we can help you develop your interests and skills

Along with coordinating the Museum's citizen science activities, staff at the centre conduct research and develop resources to help individuals and societies organise their own projects.

Our staff provide training in identification and wildlife recording skills. We also liaise with taxonomic experts to compile checklists of plant and animal species' names for the UK species inventory.

Visiting the centre

Book a visit to use the facilities or collections.

Drop-in identification service

Weekdays (except bank holidays) and the first or second Saturday in the month (depending on staff and centre availability - please check with us first by emailing or phoning):

  • 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-16.00

Where to find us

On the lower ground floor of the Darwin Centre (Orange Zone). See the Museum map page.

Digital nature diary

Save what you've seen in nature, your way, with the Museum’s free digital nature diary. 

Citizen science

Contribute to scientific research at the Museum. Take part in a wildlife survey, collect samples and data, or help us from the comfort of your home by taking part in a digital project.

UK species inventory

The inventory aims to bring all of the names for a given UK species together in one place, to ensure accurate recording and tracking of UK biodiversity.

Training

The centre offers a range of training to help build wildlife identification and recording skills in UK wildlife.