Biology Collections

A Snowy Owl held in the stored collections

The majority of the 100,000+ animals specimens are ones found in and around The Potteries. There are over 24,000 beetles, 5,000 bird eggs, 8,000 Staffordshire moths and 14,000 snails, as well as a comprehensive collection of birds and mammals from the region. All of our taxidermy is either historic or ethically sourced – which means it died naturally or accidentally (traffic or window collisions, or caught by a pet cat for example).

We look after around 15,000 plant specimens, the vast majority having been collected in Staffordshire. These include: about 6000 flowering plant specimens amassed by Eric S. Edees (the author of the 1972 ‘Flora of Staffordshire’); 2500 specimens collected by Reverend Henry P. Reader in the early 1900s mainly around Armitage, near Rugeley; over 1100 mosses and liverworts; and 350 ferns.

There are close to 2,000 fungi and lichen specimens in the collection, practically all of which were collected in Staffordshire.