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Knowledge of the Museum and our work continues to expand globally. Google now produces some four pages of entries for the museum where we are either listed in UK commercial directories such as and or with links to the content of our website in sites across India, Portugal, France, South America and the United States.

I am delighted to welcome a new trustee to the Museum, Mrs Natasha Newing, formerly of Portsmouth, Hants and now living in Dartford, Kent, who has kindly taken on the role of Treasurer (Banking). Mike Mahoney of course remains our overall Treasurer and retains responsibility for savings and investments.

I am also pleased to report that two part-time volunteers have also been appointed, Mr Bernard Smith of Dagenham, Essex and Mr Peter Kelsall of Cannock, Staffordshire. These appointments are to the honorary roles of Collections Director South and Collections Director North.

The effects of the global recession and banking crises during 2008-2010 have started to level off with donations up 27.5% over 2009/2010. This increase has allowed us to both continue expanding the collection and to invest in new laboratory equipment. As a result, there was a corresponding increase in costs over 2009/10 by 33.1%.

Total assets continue to grow with a year-on-year increase of 5.7%.

Administration costs increased by 20.9% due to increased expenditure on retail stock and from general increases in energy charges. Even with these increases, running costs have been held at 21% almost to 2009/10 levels (20%).

Brian R J Glover

Department of Palaeontology

Acquisitions by Purchase

A fine frog from the Miocene of China along with a whole turtle shell and associated skeletal remains from the Oligocene of the USA were purchased from Stone & Bones of Atlanta, Georgia.

A specimen of Araucaria wood from the Yorkshire Jurassic was obtained from Yorkshire Coast Fossils of Whitby and a an excellent Iguanadon dinosaur footprint dating to the Cretaceous from the Ise of Wight was purchased from Fine Fossils of Manchester.

Department of Geology

Acquisitions by Donation

Our team of volunteers kindly donated a number of specimens ranging from Scotland to Iceland:

Acquisitions by Field Trip

A complete set of flints ranging from white (new) to jet-black (oldest) that shows the different levels of stratification and flint formation through the Cretaceous Period were collected from the Grimes Graves area of Norfolk.

Samples of Basalt/magnetite ash from the eruption of the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, were collected from the Dartford area.

Department of Zoology

During the year our Zoology Department has continued to refine and perfect practical skills in water management techniques that will be an essential precursor to development of our ‘living fossils’ collection.

It is hoped that this will in the future be able to include live freshwater organisms, such as lampreys and sturgeons and marine organisms such as dwarf sharks and horseshoe crabs (a living descendent of the trilobites).

Botanical Department

Our Wollemi Pine, the centrepiece of our plant displays that form part of the ‘living fossils’ collection, is doing very well with much new growth over the past year. These prehistoric trees are extremely slow-growing and it will take many years to reach full maturity.

The Museum Web-Site -

The website contains descriptions of the Museum, its aims and the scope of its collection, but more importantly, contains sections on where to go to see geological and palaeontological attractions and sites, where to go to collect rocks and fossils and also lists world news of earthquakes, volcanic activity, mining developments and major fossil finds.

There are special pages devoted to background and reference information on geology and pages including write-ups of Museum field trips and expeditions together with reports on the research that we undertake.

The website also contains numerous useful links to museums, institutions and commercial organisations around the world that display, exhibit, promote or exploit the science of geology.

The number of visitors to our site now stands at 12,081.

Library & Resource Centre

We are extremely grateful to the various news agencies around the world that supply us with up to the minute information on fossil finds, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, particularly Reuters and Associated Press. With their assistance, our library of information held electronically has now passed the 10,000 mark.

Information Leaflets269
Scientific Papers31
Magazines & Publications410
U.K. Newspaper Extracts170
Video & Audio Tapes15
College Prospectuses76
Newsfiles (held electronically)10271

Electronic Newsfiles
Extra-terrestrial Geology209
The Entertainment Industry66
Articles Abstract57

Looking to the Future

The Trustees top priority remains the acquisition of new premises and, as a first step towards this goal, we will continue to examine cost effective options to initially establish a small permanent facility that will be open to the general public. This will allow us to actively seek partnership funding from grant-in-aid sources and from local concerns in the future and enable us to plan for a permanent home for the collection.

To enable easier collection and processing of donations we shall also be looking at opening a current account bank account for the Museum with the Charities Aid Foundation. This will also allow streamlining of monies paid and received via the Museum shop from the PayPal organisation in Luxenbourg.

Our appeal will continue for funds to acquire a replica dinosaur fossil from Portugal and we will be looking at acquiring those remaining volumes of the Treatise of Invertebrate Palaeontology that are currently out-of-print.

Projects originally scheduled during 2009/10 but held over due to resource limitations will flow through to the coming year, i.e:

Notes to the Accounts

1. Museum Expenditure

As a non profit making organisation, the Museum aims to spend the minimum possible on administration and overheads so that funds can be channelled into curation of the collection and the acquisition of display equipment and new specimens.

Breakdown of expenditure

2. Tangible fixed assets and depreciation

Fixed assets at 31st March 2011 are stated at the lower of (a) cost, less provision for depreciation - if originally purchased by the Museum, or (b) net realisable value, less provision for depreciation - if the asset was originally donated free of charge.

Depreciation is provided on a straight line basis, and is calculated on historical amounts, after providing for any permanent diminution in value. The period of depreciation being the estimated life of the asset subject to the maxima shown below and commencing when the capital expenditure was incurred or on acquisition of the asset by donation.
Type of assetMaximum period
Computer equipment10 years
Laboratory and display equipment20-40 years

Estimated lives and residual values of individual items are reviewed periodically and amended when circumstances change. Asset values shown represent the estimated replacement cost of the collection with specimens of similar quality and size.

3. Disposals

No specimen in the collection is considered to be a disposable asset - the Museum's charter provides strict safeguards and restrictions on disposals of the specimens themselves.

4. Interest Receivable

Interest is received gross of tax each June.

Balance Sheet

Position as at 31st March 2011

Gift Shop Sales89.990.00
Stock in Hand1033.87747.35
Cash In Hand509.62508.33
Interest Received0.421.29

Purchase of Fixed Assets250.00467.73
Operating Costs289.21239.26


Interest Received0.421.29
Cash in Hand510.38508.33
Stock in Hand1033.87747.35

Position as at 31st March 2011

OPENING BALANCE4652.512937.54
plus Acquisitions250.002118.49
less Depreciation389.61403.52
CLOSING BALANCE4512.904652.51

Working Capital1544.251256.97
Value of Collection22438.6221051.02
Current Assets163.25146.09
Fixed Assets4652.514512.90
TOTAL ASSETS28659.0227106.59

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