Loans service


How to book a loan box

For more information about our loans or to book a loan, please contact our Learning and Events team at +44 (0)20 7942 6053 or email

Our loans service is 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. 

As a charity we welcome donations to allow us to continue our education work. The recommended donation for each set is £30.

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

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 6053 or by email.

Before requesting a loan please read our terms and conditions and handling instructions.

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

Book ahead

We recommend booking a term in advance to avoid disappointment. Please note there is a minimum of one week between booking and collecting the loan box. 

Loan conditions

Before requesting a loan please read our terms and conditions and handling instructions.

Choose from 12 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

Box 4: 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 11: Butterflies

A variety of 10 individual butterflies for art purposes


Box 12: Beetles

A variety of 10 individual beetles for art purposes.


Get in touch about our loans service today