The comprehensive collection of around 1500 mounted British birds and mammals lacks representatives of just a few species. The collection derives mainly from Victorian naturalists and includes several notable bequest and gifts - namely the Rev. H.A. Macpherson collection, J.W. Harris collection, and the Edenhall collection.
The collection is largely of local origin and most specimens are well provenanced. Several specimens such as the Greenland Falcon from Crosby Ravensworth (1865) are cited in 'A Vertebrate Fauna of Lakeland' (MacPherson, 1892).
The collection is also noteworthy for its fine examples of the art of taxidermy. These include work which Ernest Blezard prepared at Tullie House (1926-1966), including major set-pieces of Peregrine Falcon, Raven, Buzzard and many other fine examples.
The reference collection of some 3,500 study skins of British birds and mammals includes the collections of E. B. Dunlop, M. Garnett, Dixon Losh Thorpe and Rev. H. A Macpherson. Again, this is a strong collection with good original documentation.
The collection of British birds' eggs contains some 3,500 clutches. The strong local content of the collection is the result of gifts and bequests from several collectors -most notably Tom Little Johnston, Pearson Douglas and Ernest Blezard.
The Osteology collection comprises skulls and skeletons of British birds and mammals, together with a few examples of foreign species. A few complete articulated skeletons represent the main vertebrate groups (including fish, amphibians and reptiles) found locally.
A small collection of sub-fossil material includes a fine set of horns of the Aurochs (Wild Ox) found in Burgh Marsh in 1850.
The fish collection contains c.50 specimens of local freshwater and marine fish, either mounted for display or preserved in alcohol.