Nature’s Library

At our monthly meeting today (11th May 2013), we paid a visit to the recently opened “Nature’s Library” gallery. We spent an hour touring the gallery and discussing our thoughts, opinions and favourite objects.

Last year we were consulted on our thoughts about the redevelopment of the Birds gallery and the idea of turning it into “Nature’s Library”. We decided that the concept of arranging the gallery in the friendly style of a bookshop would be more attractive than the formal layout of a library. For example, we liked the idea of arranging objects and cases thematically and possibly having a section of the gallery which contained books relating to the topics in the gallery (and lots of comfy chairs/bean bags) to make it a place where people felt comfortable spending time and possibly extending this idea of a comfortable book shop into the study centre above.

When we went to the gallery today we all really liked how it looked and how it had been designed. Our favourite objects varied quite a bit and included a narwhals tusk, an Archaeopteryx cast and a duck-billed platypus. We all really liked the graphic design that had gone into the gallery as it made you think of books due to the hand drawn classical illustration style of the graphics. Another thing we really liked was the way in which objects had been grouped and displayed such as a taxidermy monkey swinging on a rope, and various preserved objects being displayed in kilner jars.

Overall, the space has been used to it’s full potential and “Nature’s Library” is a fantastic catalogue of diverse archives and displays of nature, from fossils to taxidermy collections, from Coombes’ Shooting Diaries to a narwhal tusk. Each display case is filled with endless oddities and fascinating items, making it practically impossible to choose a favourite….

But we gave it a try!!!!


Lorna: The giant squirrel caught my eye just because of it’s sheer size.. Imagine one of those running around in your garden!


Emma S: The crystal stone caught my attention because it was a pretty colour blend between pale pink and slight purple. The crystal was just very pretty.


Emma:  The tortoise skeleton – this has been cut in half so that you can see the internal structure and how the shell is supported by the skeletal structure.


Elliot: The Golden Pheasant – It is very difficult to miss with its bright feathers and styled hair!


Izzy:  I saw this penguin being cleaned behind the scenes in conservation a few months ago – and here it is now!


Victoria: The shell is an unusual shape and colour from most of the shells – fascinating!


Josh: The narwhale horn makes me think of Gandalf the Grey’s staff!


Jordan: The Archaeopteryx cast. As a possible missing link of evolution, it is a fascinating item to have, even if it is a replica.


Sally: I choose the coral as it is fascinating to see what grows in the sea. I am intrigued by the strange shapes and intricate patterns.


Andrea: I love turtles and this display highlights how we have a responsibility to look after the natural world. It causes us to think and encourages us to act and play a part in protecting the environment however remote.


So these are our favourites – come along and tell us what your favourites are too!!!!

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