Behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum Updates
June 1, 2023

Behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum… The importance of biodiversity was brought to life for members of the Workman team and their clients from BlackRock last week, as they were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Natural History Museum.

As a proud sponsor of the Natural History Museum’s Urban Nature Project, which is transforming the five-acre site in South Kensington into a welcoming, accessible, and biologically diverse green space in the heart of London, Workman is acutely aware of the need to support, study, and protect the planet’s biodiversity.

The behind-the-scenes tour of the Natural History Museum’s Tank Room, where the full collection includes 22 million specimens stored in alcohol, including a Greenland shark and “Stanley the Sturgeon”, highlighted the reasons for preserving some collections in spirit, and how scientists are using them to study life on Earth.

One of the display cases in the museum even contains specimens from Charles Darwin’s 1831-1836 voyage, complete with his own handwritten identification labels.

“Seeing the Darwin samples really underlined how important and relevant the collection is to today’s struggle to sustain the natural world, with some of these acting as the typical species examples to this day,” said our Hedley Jones, Partner and Head of ESG, Development and Refurbishment.

The tour was given by James Maclaine, Senior Curator, Fish, who was incredibly knowledgeable and engaging, especially when describing certain species, including a small sunfish which can grow to 3m, and “Archie” the giant squid, which at 8.62-metres-long is the largest specimen of its type.

Image credit: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

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