Natural History

Colin emptying the skulls case

Deer Skull

Technician Colin, removing an owl from its display case for freezing.

Emptying the cases

North Herts Museum staff have been busy down at Standalone Farm. If you haven’t already seen, there is a barn at the farm with some interesting nature displays, giving visitors a chance to get a close look at some creatures they may not normally see. These include some North Herts Museum cases with large creepy crawlies and an impressive seascape diorama with a huge variety of bird specimens. There is also a working beehive with live bees who you can watch as they work away busily. So its well worth popping in when you are next at the farm.

Anyway, a potential pest problem was spotted by staff at the farm so our team rushed in to take a look and save the museum specimens. Pests such as woodworm and carpet beetle can damage natural history specimens and their settings by eating through them. Natural Historian Volunteer Bob, Technician Colin and Assistant Curator Suzie worked on the cases and managed to dismantle the two where the problem had been spotted and safely pack all the specimens.

These have now been taken for safe keeping at the Burymead Resource Centre where they will be frozen. Freezing the mounted specimens wont harm them at all but it will destroy any pests and their larvae. Specialist pest staff at Standalone will treat the cases to make sure the specimens will be safe from further damage. Once done, they can all be returned back to their nice, clean display cases.