Bugs, Conservation, Grasslands, Wildlife

Introducing… the UK’s largest insect!

Aptly named the Great Green Bush Cricket - who else was it going to be? I spent all summer searching in their rough grassland habitat, only to spot this one crossing the road in front of me! Mind you with those legs, it can't be hard to stay one 'step' ahead...

Conservation, Heathland, Reptiles, Wildlife

Feeding little Sand Lizard hatchlings!

The UK has six native species of reptiles, two of which are extremely rare - the Smooth snake and the Sand lizard. These heathland inhabitants have had homes increasingly restricted and fragmented, resulting in their strict protection under UK and European Law. So when Avon Heath set up their Sand Lizard nursery, I jumped at the opportunity to see the hatchlings up close... 

Beachcombing, Seashore, Wildlife

Meet the deadly Portuguese Man O War!

Over the past couple weeks, record numbers of these curious creatures have been reported. Strong westerly winds have brought them from across the atlantic, so far washing up along our shorelines in the southwest. The news has been widely shared across the country,  so what's the fuss all about?

Butterflies, Conservation, Grasslands, Wildlife

Where to see the elusive Lulworth Skipper!

Not only is the Lulworth Skipper almost the smallest of Britain's 59 butterfly species, it can also only be found on 10-15 mile stretch of Dorset coast, in the entireity of the UK. This sets quite the precedent for the challenge to spot one! Luckily I know just the place to find them...

Bugs, Conservation, Grasslands, Wildlife

Where do Bloody-nosed beetles get their name?

Bloody-nosed beetles are large black leaf beetles, with rounded bodies and long legs. They are flightless, so often spotted wandering about the countryside in their characteristic slow, what can only be described as a 'plod'.  But what's in the name?

Conservation, Crafts

Dry-stone Walling exam!

The ancient craft of dry stone walling (that is building without mortar) has historically provided a cost-effective method of building field boundaries to manage livestock and improve the fields. These walls are known to last for hundreds of years, providing a unique habitat particularly favoured by Slow-worms - who seem to be found underneath every other stone! Today the walls have formed an important part of landscape heritage, but are often left to ruin due to the loss of this traditional skill...