The Bournemouth Natural Science Society (BNSS) was formed in 1903 with the aim of promoting the study of all branches of Science and Natural History.

For more than a hundred years, the Society has educated and inspired both its members and the general public by providing a varied programme of lectures, museum open days, field trips, study groups and exhibitions.

In January 2016, we were awarded Accredited Museum status by the Arts Council England. The Accreditation Scheme sets our nationally-agreed standards for museums which inspire the confidence of the public and funding and governing bodies and helps us assess our performance and plan for the future.

The home of the BNSS is a grand, late Victorian Grade II listed building, located on the outskirts of Bournemouth town centre.  It houses a fascinating museum which cherishes a menagerie of preserved natural history specimens, including plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, eggs and shells, as well as extensive collections of fossils, rocks and minerals.  The museum also has numerous archaeological artifacts and an Egyptology collection which boasts a 2500 year old mummy in its sarcophagus.  In addition, there are many thousands of photographic slides dating from the late 19th century, and two libraries holding over 5000 volumes available for loan and reference.  The grounds of the building feature a marvellous garden aimed at encouraging BNSS garden with pondwildlife in an urban environment. The Society welcomes the use of all of its facilities for research, education and enjoyment.

The BNSS is keen to embrace new ideas and to modernise certain aspects of its operation, whilst recognising the importance of retaining its unique heritage. Forthcoming plans include refurbishment within the Society building and generating increased awareness of the Society’s activities within the community.  The Society plans to apply for available funding that will support more frequent opening hours and improve its infrastructure, enhancing the experience for visitors.  The Society aims to further its role in the local community, continuing to forge strong relationships with schools, universities, local interest groups and people from all walks of life.

Such projects and regeneration measures are vital in order to increase membership and interest in the Society, enabling it to build on its successes, secure its future and realise its vision.

If you want to learn more about the history of the Society, you can read this article written by our curator, Ray Chapman.



BNSS is governed by its Trustees, who deal with the day-to-day running of the Society; working towards the charitable objectives that are outlined in the Constitution. Trustees are nominated and elected by the members annually. Additionally there are voluntary officers appointed by the Trustees and members. The Assembly is a members’ forum to discuss Society matters and implement them, or refer to the Trustees where their involvement is needed.

See the BNSS Annual Report here.

See the latest Strategic Plan here.

See a copy of the current Constitution (adopted in 2006) here.

Members also agree to abide by the charity’s Rules, which were updated and adopted in 2014. See a copy here.

Access and customer care

We endeavour to offer the best possible experience to all members and visitors and have a number of policies in place to help us achieve

Our Customer Customer Care Policy can be downloaded here.

Our Access Policy Statement can be downloaded here.


Data Protection

Our Data Protection Policy can be downloaded here