The Natural History Museum

Have you ever held an actual fossil or mineral? How did you know it was a fossil? What is a fossil? Do you know why minerals are important and that we can even search for them in space!

At the Natural History Museum in London, we ask questions about specimens like fossils and minerals every single day. The Museum has millions of objects, which include everything from fossils to butterflies to meteorites and minerals. We are bringing some exciting things to Lyme Regis.  Drop in to our hands-on activities lead by Museum scientists where you can explore fossils and other amazing treasures from our famous collections.  Learn to use questions and other scientific ideas to examine specimens to learn more about the natural world and be like a Museum Scientist for yourself.


Bring your fossil and rock finds to the NHM experts and learn how to identify what you have found and how best to care for it.

Abbey Wood Sieving Activity

Sieving and identifying real fossil sharks’ teeth and shells from a 54 million year old fossil bed using an identification guide and modern comparative material.  Visitors will be encouraged to discuss “what is a fossil?”, how fossils are named, deep time and sea level change.

Children (and adults) will be given the opportunity to experience palaeontology first hand.  Apart from rare mammal and reptile remains, everything you find you may keep.

Evolution of mammalian teeth

In the shadow of the dinosaurs, Mesozoic mammals were tiny, but we know a lot about their teeth and jaws. So we can trace their evolution from simple slicing teeth to ones with an ability to crush and grind too, providing evidence for changing diets. Enlarged models of these early dentitions make it easier to understand their evolutionary development. We can demonstrate this by using them in a puzzle. Try associating upper and lower jaws of a variety of primitive mammals, by working out how their teeth fit together for chewing.

What do we have in common with fish?

Your inner fish! Find out what humans have in common with fish and amphibians and how exactly fish made their first steps onto land.

Extinction Kerplunk!

How will climate change affect the oceans? Using a simple hands-on model made of plastic straws and modern sea shells you can do your own experiments to investigate how the rate and amount of global warming might affect the diversity and size of marine animals. You will be able to compare the results of your experiments to predictions that scientists are making for the future as well as to fossil evidence from past episodes of global warming.

Dino CSI

Dinosaurs died out around 65 million years ago so how can we find out more about what they really looked like and how they lived?  Come find out more about fossils and have a go at digging up a dinosaur like a real Museum palaeontologist!  Suitable for ages 5+


Get your hands on million year old fossils and discover what links them to creatures that are still alive today.

Happy Birthday William Smith – fossils reunited!

Come and see the characteristic fossils that William Smith used to define ‘strata’ and make the Britain’s first geological map in 1815.

  • Match fossils to his hand drawn coloured plates
  • Draw a fossil from the Clunch Clay, the Forest Marble or the Cornbrash strata
  • Place your fossil on Smith’s stratigraphic chart

3D Imaging

Discover how the NHM uses different kinds of 3D imaging to help us learn about our specimens.  Come face to face with some incredible tiny animals imaged in stereo using electron microscopy, see a live demo of our structured light scanning equipment, and get the chance to hold our 3D prints all taken from Museum specimens.

The Royal Microscopic Society (RMS)

Hands-on use of the RMS Microscope Activity Kit – everything that you need to deliver exciting activities linked to the Primary School National Curriculum. The scheme is completely free to Schools, funded entirely by the RMS.