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Start exploring in Hertfordshire!

PUBLISHED: 18:32 25 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:39 20 February 2013

Start exploring in Hertfordshire!

Start exploring in Hertfordshire!

Journey through Daring Explorers, a new exhibition at the Natural History Museum at Tring

Daring Explorers 23 July 18 November 2012


Discover true stories of danger, death and disaster from the Victorian species seekers who risked their lives in remote places, collecting animals and plants in the name of science.


Imagine being shipwrecked on a tiny island. Half your crew are dead. Youve spent all your cash, eaten your last hunting dog and, most importantly, you need to get 30 giant tortoises to Britain alive or you dont get paid. Find out if you have what it took to be a Victorian natural history collector in Daring Explorers. Read hair-raising letters to loved ones, flick through some holiday snaps and check out the specimens and equipment that made it home, even if the collectors didnt.


As part of your visit, dress up as a Victorian explorer, try your hand at our explorers version of snakes and ladders and see if you could hack it in our collector challenge.


Meet the Fearless Four and compare their daring and their skills at exploring and collecting:



  • Charles M Harriss first expedition attempt to the Galapagos was a disaster the ships captain died of yellow fever, one man was sacked for drunkenness and another ran away.

  • Find out how William Doherty lost several years worth of collections, journals and scientific notes in Java, Indonesia.

  • Henry Palmer ran out of cash and could not send his specimens back or even leave Hawaii until more money arrived.

  • And who could forget Alexander F R Wollaston, who lost most of his equipment and his original expedition diary when his canoe capsized in a remote area of New Guinea?


Surviving rhino attacks, typhoid and shipwrecks, these men and a few women left quite a legacy. But its not just the collectors whose stories still captivate us, many of the specimens that made it home continue to be used in scientific research, revealing fascinating information.


Alice Adams, Interpretation and Learning Manager at the Natural History Museum at Tring says, Our founder Walter Rothschild relied on these courageous collectors to form the impressive collection at the Natural History Museum at Tring that has inspired generations of visitors to take an interest in the natural world.



Visitor information


Address:The Natural History Museum at Tring, The Walter Rothschild Building, Akeman Street, Tring,Hertfordshire HP23 6AP


Admission: Free


Opening hours:Monday to Saturday 10.0017.00, Sunday 14.0017.00


Access: There is lift access throughout the public areas of the Museum.


Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 6171


Website: www.nhm.ac.uk/tring



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