Natural History Museum launches Wallace Discovery Trail

Date Posted: 10/06/2013

This summer, school groups visiting the Natural History Museum in London can uncover the extraordinary adventures of Alfred Russel Wallace in a new free trail running from 1st July.

The Wallace Discovery Trail celebrates his role as the co-discoverer of evolution by natural selection, with Charles Darwin.

Wallace was a British naturalist and explorer who collected more than 100,000 specimens on several epic journeys and discovered over 5,000 new species to science.

His observations and notes on animal diversity in the Amazon and south-east Asia helped him discover evolution by natural selection independently of Darwin.

Exotic birds, reptiles and insects

Visiting school groups can follow the trail through the museum’s iconic building, from the central hall to the spirit collection, to discover some of Wallace’s most important specimens and retrace his journey around the world.

The trail includes many items that have never been on public display before, revealing highlights from Wallace’s life and work such as exotic birds, reptiles and insects he collected, among them toucans and birds of paradise.

You can also view some of his watercolours and drawings; tools of his trade, such as his telescope and sextant; and an adult orang-utan, reportedly the largest of all the specimens he collected.

Centenary events

The free trail is part of the museum’s Wallace100 celebrations, a series of activities commemorating the centenary of Wallace’s death.

School trip organisers can opt for other Wallace100 activities including interactive Nature Live talks with museum scientists and monthly Wallace lectures.

For further school trip information contact:

020-7942 5000

School Travel Organiser's Guide