Natural History & Biology
There are over 20,000 different species of plants and animals in Kent and Maidstone Museum’s vast collection reflects that local diversity. There are collections of plants (botany), including many specimens of species which are notoriously difficult to identify, and animals (zoology).
The botany collection of around 55,000 specimens comprises a selection of Kentish flowering plants which is the best in the county and of national importance. There is also a collection of British flowering plants, as well as British collections of some critical genera, mainly of Kentish origin.
The zoology collection is comprised of approximately 98,000 specimens, including mounted bird collections and good collections of bird skins, eggs, and nests, including local collections from ornithologist Guy Mannering. There are also mounted mammals and fish, as well as mammal skins.
The entomology (insect) collections include around 250,000 specimens from around the world, including a European butterfly and moth (lepidoptera) reference collections, together with other insect species such as beetles.
The Maidstone Museum Kent River Safari gallery, meanwhile, explores the habitats, plants, and animal species which make up our county’s unique natural heritage.
Natural history specimens
Natural history specimens from around the world are also represented; the museum has an especially fine collection of shells from the South Sea Islands, bird specimens gathered by the great local Victorian collector, Julius Brenchley in 1865, and more exotic specimens of spiders, stick insects, Goliath beetles, and Indian butterflies.