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Hampshire Museums Service

Animals and plants

Biology Collections

What do we have?

Approximately 125,000 specimens of  preserved plants and animals, mainly from the British Isles. The oldest specimen is dated 1737, but most were collected during the past 150 years or so by many different collectors. Particularly well represented are all insect groups, birds, mammals and flowering plants, as well as lichens, mosses, fungi and spiders.

Why do we have them?

We operate a strict collecting policy which governs what we collect and how we collect it.

Items in the collections are used in displays interpreting Hampshire’s natural environment and for promoting habitat and species conservation, to provide evidence for the biodiversity, and as reference specimens to help naturalists identify animals and plants.

Biology stores at Chilcomb House

Visiting our collections

Specimens not on display at our museums are stored at Chilcomb House in Winchester where they may be viewed by prior arrangement on weekdays or the first Saturday of the month. If you have questions about the collections, wish to visit or have a collection or specimens you would like to donate, please contact us.