What is natural history?

Natural history, is unfortunately not a word we come across very often these days. It is a word that conjures up images of old men with giant beards in Victorian houses, packed from ceiling to floor with musty smelling journals, stuffed animals and exotic memorabilia. Or else, it recalls grand museums with dinosaur skeletons, antique clothes and beady-eyed animals in glass boxes.

But in reality, natural history is so much more than this. It is a living, breathing, exciting and ever-changing field of study!

Imagine shaggy yak on ice-capped mountains; lions prowling through the African Savannah; herds of buffalo grazing on the prairie; shoals of fish darting through the depths of the ocean; or colourful parrots in a lush, green forest. 

Because, natural history is the study of life in its natural environment.

So, plants, trees, birds, butterflies, animals, spiders, lichens, mosses; the earth itself, with its rocks and soils; the water flowing through the ocean depths, or bubbling and laughing in mountain streams. The wind and the rain;  sunshine and rainbows; commets and asteroids; moon and stars…

The observation and study of all of these elements and more are part of natural history.