Angela Marmont Centre for UK Nature

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, or post specimens to us, please contact us first at or phone us on  +44 (0)20 7942 5045.

  • Guidance on visiting the centre - please read first

    When visiting the CUKN please observe the following conditions:

    • Where possible please book with staff before visiting us, so that we can arrange for the correct staff to be present to help you.
    • All visitors to the Centre must be at least 18 years old OR be accompanied at all times by a parent or legal guardian.
    • Any objects that you would like us to look at should be in a transparent, sealed container such as a glass jar, clear zip-lock bag or clear plastic box. It must be possible for us to check the object for any safety issues before handling it.
    • If the item was found outside the UK please contact us first and send photos. This service is intended to give advice on UK-found objects. On occasion we might be able to comment on non-UK materials on a case-by-case basis.
    • We cannot give any advice of a medical or veterinary nature.
    • We cannot accept noxious or strongly smelling objects - the Centre is an enclosed office space shared by other staff.
    • We cannot accept items that may have been imported or exported illegally. 
    • We cannot offer scientific testing of suspected meteorites unless a visual inspection leads us to believe it is likely to be a meteorite and our scientists feel there is scientific benefit to testing it.
    • If you suspect that your object might relate to a CITES listed species (eg coral, shagreen, tortoiseshell) then please contact the Commercial ID Service via However, please note that we do not identify rhino horn or any type of ivory, including marine ivory. 
    • Items of a commercial nature (eg an item that might be routinely bought and sold or items of an intrinsically commercial nature such a jewelry or antiques) should be submitted to the Commercial ID Service via


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.

Ways to identify your specimens and sightings

1) Check our selection of ID guides 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:
  • For earth sciences, such as meteorites, minerals, rocks and fossils:

3) Join the ID team's Facebook group and submit your query.

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

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

Please book a visit to use the facilities or collections.

Drop-in identification service


  • 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-16.00

We open the third Saturday of each month. This includes access to the London  Natural History Society Library for LNHS members.

Where to find us

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

Identification help via Facebook

Found something interesting?

The Museum's identification service has a Facebook group to help answer your queries on plants, animals, fossils, rocks and minerals found in the British Isles.

Community 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.


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