‘eighty years of promoting biodiversity conservation through taxonomic research, scientific training and international networks’

Harrison Institute, Centre for Biodiversity Research

Bowerwood House, home of the Harrison Institute.


Dr James Harrison who founded the Institute in1930.













Dr Paul Bates (Director)
Harrison Institute
Bowerwood House
15 St Botoloph’s Road
Kent, TN13 3AQ
United Kingdom

Telephone/Fax: +44 (0)1732 742446
E-mail: hzm@btinternet.com

History of the Harrison Institute

The Harrison Institute was founded by Dr James Harrison in 1930 as the Harrison Zoological Museum. Based at Bowerwood House in Sevenoaks, some 40 km from central London, it originally focused on the study of British and Palaearctic birds. Dr James was supported in this work by his elder son Dr Jeffery Harrison. Together they also helped found an innovative and successful local bird reserve. [more information]

In 1971, the Institute’s zoological collections were recognised as being of national and international importance and it became a Charitable Trust (No 268830).

In 1986, it was further recognised as a Registered Scientific Institution by the Department of the Environment and was listed under CITES.

Under the leadership of Dr David Harrison (James's younger son), the Institute increasingly focused on the taxonomic study and conservation of mammals.

Conservation initiatives were concentrated in Arabia and Asia. Scientific publications were primarily concerned with the Old World tropics and subtropics and with the Tertiary and Quaternary mammal faunas of the UK.


Staff, Trustees, and Associates
The Institute has a small core of staff in the UK, who are supported by an experienced team of Trustees and Institute volunteers.

It works with colleagues in museums, universities and other institutions all around the world. [more information]

Visitor Information
Scientific visitors are welcome, Monday to Friday (9.00 am – 6.00 pm), but by prior appointment only. The Institute is shut for all public holidays and at various other times. 


How to get there
By rail: the Institute is situated three minutes walk from Sevenoaks mainline railway station.  It is on the left hand side of St Botolph’s Road when walking up the hill; for detailed directions consult http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&

There are regular trains to and from three London stations: London Bridge, London Waterloo, and London Charing Cross.  We recommend that you choose a faster train, with fewer stops en route.  These depart London about every 20 minutes and the journey time is about 35 minutes http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ .

By car: there is a limited amount of car parking at the Institute.  Please check in advance if you wish to park your car in the drive.