Loans service

Children in their classroom drawing a horned skull from a specimen on their table

Our loans are an excellent way to bring your lessons to life. We have a range of themed boxes to use within a variety of curriculum areas including Science, Art, Language, Geography and History.

Each set is a box of six or more specimens, a fact file about the specimens and instructions on how to handle them. A box can be used for multiple classes and may be loaned for one half-term (up to six weeks) at a time. It can be collected at and returned to the Museum at a mutually agreed date and time. 

The Museum is a charity and its role is now more important than ever, to help support the Museum there is a recommended donation of £30 charge for a loan box. 

Occasionally some of the specimens are damaged or are needed elsewhere. The Museum reserves the right to replace the specimens when necessary.

We have amended our procedures to ensure that the loans are COVID-19 safe. Specimens will be stored for a minimum of 72 hours between loans and terms and conditions will be agreed to electronically. We also advise that specimens be used for observation rather than handling.

How to book a box

For more information about our loans or to book a loan, please contact our Learning and Events team at 020 7942 6177  or by email.

Before requesting a loan please read our terms and conditions and handling instructions (PDF 123kB).

To book a loan we will need to know the:

  • school name and teacher responsible
  • contact details, including email, telephone number and address where the specimens are to be stored
  • dates the loan is required
  • number of students using the loan
  • age of the students
  • subject area

Choose from 16 different boxes

The pictures and list are an example of what specimens you will receive.

  • Box 1: Birds 1

    Large- and medium-sized birds which are ideal for art lessons:

    • cuckoo
    • green woodpecker in a case
    • kingfisher
    • kestrel in a case
    • thrush
    • jay 
  • Box 2: Birds 2

    Large- and medium-sized birds which are ideal for a variety of art lessons:

    • short-eared owl in a case
    • greater spotted woodpecker
    • chaffinch and greenfinch
    • starling
    • partridge
    • hobby 
  • Box 3: Small British birds

    A collection of beautiful small birds, suitable for art lessons for older students:

    • robin
    • blue tit
    • pied wagtail
    • wren
    • whinchat in a case
    • greenfinch
  • Boxes 4 and 13: Local wildlife

    Examine the wildlife of our local area with a variety of local birds, mammals and insects. Ideal for science, creative writing and art:

    • red fox
    • rabbit in a case
    • hedgehog in a case
    • goldfinch with chaffinch and yellowhammer
    • dragonfly and dragonfly nymph
    • mole in a case
  • Box 5: Birds in flight

    Wings, feathers and mounted birds to explore the process of flight:

    • swift in flight in a case
    • tawny owl wing
    • eagle wing
    • selection of parrot feathers
    • selection of other feathers
    • chaffinch 
  • Box 6: Sea life

    A collection of sea life specimens, including shells, corals and sea birds:

    • puffin
    • gull
    • giant spider conch
    • organ pipe coral
    • selection of small shells
    • tiger cowrie
    • brain coral
  • Box 7: Selection of shells and corals

    A selection of corals and shells, ideal for studying life under the sea:

    • pearl conch
    • selection of small shells
    • African murex 
    • Philippine crowned baler melon 
    • Tridacna medium clam 
    • brain coral
    • coral 
  • Box 8: Skulls 1

    A variety of skulls ideal for studying science, diet or art:

    • muntjac deer
    • African hunting dog
    • badger
    • cat
    • rabbit
    • camel
  • Box 9: Skulls 2

    A variety of skulls ideal for studying science, diet or art:

    • muntjac deer
    • crocodile skull in a case
    • sheep
    • cat
    • squirrel
    • macaque (monkey)
  • Box 10: Fur and feathers

    A selection of mammals and birds ideal for studying texture and colour:

    • red-crowned ant tanager in a case
    • yellowhammer
    • mongoose
    • muntjac deer
    • racoon dog
    • cuckoo in a case
  • Box 14: Mixed insects

    A range of 11 individual insects including beetles, dragonflies, ants, wasps, moths and grasshoppers.

    A variety of colouful insects in individual clear plastic boxes
  • Box 15: Variety box

    A fascinating mixture of different specimens:

    • Eyed cowrie shell
    • Parrot feathers
    • Blackbuck horn
    • Horse molar
    • Badger bone
    • Cow vertebra 
    • Herring gull eggs
    • Mushroom coral
    Various objects laid out on a black background including a twisted horn and colourful feathers
  • Box 16: Fossils

    A selection of 10 fossils, ideal for studying time periods, animals from the past and fossilisation:

    • Graptolite
    • Ammonite fragment
    • Fossil coral
    • Fossil sea urchin
    • Cast of T-rex tooth
    • Ammonite
    • Fossil oyster
    • Devils toenail
    • Trilobite
    • Fossil plant
    A variety of fossils laid out on a black background

School visits to Tring

Inspire your students to ponder their place within the natural world and explore the variety of life. We offer workshops and self-guided visits.