Greenhouse Effects

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday, 28 February 2011 18:43

As I was looking through a spider book at the weekend I found out about this species that is not in 'Roberts' because it was new to the British list in the early 1990s. It is Uloborus plumipes, also known as the Garden Centre Spider and is an introduced species that is spreading between garden centres  via the house plant trade but as it is from Asia, Africa and the Med. originally, it requires warmer temperatures that are only really provided by warm greenhouses and hot houses. Intrigued by the strange looking beast and also by someone telling me that it is probably in all garden centres by now, I decided to go and have a look.

I went to the nearest garden centre to Woods Mill on my lunch break and found one within ten minutes! It looked more like a prey item wrapped in spider silk suspended in a web rather than a spider itself. It was quite small, no more than a cm when fully outstretched. I really have never seen anything like this before.
The garden centre staff were very helpful although they wouldn't let me in the greenhouses, I found this by a light on some shop fittings. I was so excited that I forgot to even look what section I was in, I think they thought I was a bit odd (and I didn't buy anything!). It was really hard to take photos because it was quite high up and very small with a bright background. It was close to an electric door as well. All this meant I was there for about twenty minutes with my camera! I wonder if they are hanging around in a garden centre near you?...

Hare ball

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 27 February 2011 16:58

I managed to get quite close to this Brown Hare today on a farm survey in Hampshire. Usually the first I know of them is when I flush one from two or three metres so it was nice to spot one from afar.  I like how much they squash themselves down, it looks completely different to this, the same individual running away from me! I saw five Brown Hares today, the most I have recorded on a single survey.
The birds today were quite interesting with Crossbill and two Mediterranean Gulls being the highlights as well as a flock of 40 Yellowhammers. I didn't see any invertebrates today though, it's the longest walk and I wanted to get around before the rain hit. I did get this shot of the Bluebell leaves underneath W10 woodland. I love this time of year when there is a carpet of green underneath the unopened canopy, it looks so lush and full of potential.
Finally, there is an article in today's Sunday Telegraph about pan-species listers. Great to see this getting such coverage in a national newspaper!

It's life, Jim, but not as we know it

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday, 26 February 2011 15:07

On a farm survey yesterday I spotted this crazy looking lichen. I didn't expect to be able to identify it from a photo but I am pretty sure it's Ramalania fastigiata according to 'Dobson'. It's quite common apparently on nutrient-rich bark but I can't remember ever seeing it before.  I think it looks like something off Star Trek. I also found a couple of carabids under a tray for feeding Pheasants and the species was also new to me, Trechus quadristriatus. That puts me on 3126, just past 1/8 of the way to 4000! Not having my laptop has been very liberating and frustrating in equal measures. It has made me realise how much I use the damn thing though.

The Crumble Test

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 25 February 2011 15:51

My laptop battery has died so I have limited access to the Internet. Yesterday I had a very interesting day on a course looking at 'Bats and trees'. It was very much geared at protected-species consultants but it was still very useful to my work. I was amazed when the instructor got out some old bat droppings, they smelled a bit like Oxo Cubes, not all that unpleasant. If you squeeze a dropping between your finger  and it crumbles very easily and twinkles (I assume because of all the invertebrates bats eat) it is more likely to be a bat than an another small mammal apparently. Anyway, here are some Natterer's Bat turds.
And here is a whole mess of Serotine Bat droppings. Just add milk!
Whilst we were out in a clearing in the woods a Crossbill flew over but most bizarrely I spotted a small bat flying around in broad daylight. I saw a similar thing about this time last year at Ebernoe. No photo I am afraid but the instructor was pretty sure it was one of the pipistrelle species.

The Company of Wolves

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday, 23 February 2011 19:46

I managed a survey today despite the weather and had a really good result with high numbers of Skylark and Yellowhammer compared to usual as well as four Hawfinch. Due to leaving my binoculars in Oli's car after the failed twitch on Sunday I have been using my old binoculars today that have not left the house in ten years. Suffice to say that I don't think they will be going out again ever. Back on the shelf you go.

There was little else to see today but I did have a look under some old fence posts and spotted this striking wolf spider that I think is a male Alopecosa pulverulenta (will have to confirm this though). There are only about 40 species of wolf spider (Lycosidae) in the UK from nine different genera. Their eyes have a very distinctive pattern. If I have got this one right, I will have seen three of them. Another bat course tomorrow up in Surrey, this time 'Trees and bats' with IEEM.

Further down the spiral...

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday, 22 February 2011 19:05

I had a look around Hoe Wood at Woods Mill this lunch time and found a few things. I saw a single Dromius quadrimaculatus but it got away before I had chance to get a photo. I then found a fresh Spring Usher which also managed to give me the slip. In fact, the only thing I did manage to get a shot of was a snail. This is the Plaited Door Snail Cochlodina laminata and is common on trees and amongst wood. It is sinistral and smooth and lacks the ribs of other similar species.

Species 3122 - A trip to Rainham

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 20 February 2011 21:22

You can probably tell from my expression that it wasn't a Slaty-backed Gull! We were a little late getting galvanised today and literally missed the bird by minutes after sauntering onto the scene at a leisurely 2.45 pm (I wasn't hung over, I was working earlier in the day). Serves us right for leaving it so late. It was such a miserable day that the bird probably went to roost early, it seemed as dark at 3.00 pm as it was at 5.00 pm. Everything was flushed ten minutes before we arrived apparently and the bird was seen to fly out of view. Twitching sucks! Thanks to Oli for driving all the way there and back. We did see some Avocets and a huge flock of Lapwings that was put up by a Peregrine.

All was not lost however. We poked around in some drift wood by the banks of the Thames for a few minutes and I looked under the sum total of three logs. Under the second one I found a new species for me and it seems like it was quite a good one! I recognised it as one of the squash bugs that I had not seen before and thought I could probably ID it from a photo alone.
It's Ceraleptus lividus and is a local to scarce southern species that likes dry places according to 'A Photographic Guide to the Shieldbugs and Squashbugs of the British Isles' and was easy to identify. So, who needs a Slaty-backed Gull? Erm, well, me for one but I have learned two things today:
1) Don't leave the house at 1.30 pm to go twitching on a dark gloomy day in winter.
2) I prefer going out looking for invertebrates than I do birding these days.
So, will I go back for another shot at the bird? Almost certainly, I really wanna see the ugly brute and I do have a thing for gulls...

Sound analysis of bat recordings

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday, 19 February 2011 19:18

I've been to a training day at the Natural History Museum today organised by the Bat Conservation Trust looking at analysing bat recordings from woodland transects that I helped carry out last summer at The Mens and Ebernoe Common. It was really interesting and my physics degree came in handy for the first time in a while! I learned a lot, it was great to see and hear the different calls the bats make and how to describe and identify them. Particular emphasis was put on Barbastelle Bats and that is what is shown on the above photo. It has two calls at different frequencies and of different shapes. You can't identify all bats this way, the Myotis species for example cannot really be differentiated by call. A long day with a lot crammed into it but I have learned more abouts today than I have probably in the rest of my life put together. An invaluable day and I am looking forward to helping with the surveys (and now the sound analysis) this year on our sites. I had no time to look around the museum and all I managed to get a photo of was of this was this pasty looking fellow waiting for a bus.

To me, to you

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 18 February 2011 16:55

As I was coming into work today I noticed these two micro moths getting jiggy with it on the wall. They are Agonopterix heracliana and they are common at this time of year here at Woods Mill but I usually only see them in the moth trap. The larvae feed on various umbellifers and the adults overwinter, re-emerging in the spring. Just a quick one tonight as I am off to give a talk on the Woods Mill CBC for Henfield birdwatch. I'm off for some bat sound-analysis training in London tomorrow too, so a busy weekend but the Slaty-backed Gull is calling and a trip to Rainham may be on the cards for Sunday. Anyway, I'm just glad I got to use a quote from the Chuckle Brothers on my blog.

Orange segments

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday, 17 February 2011 20:46

This little beetle is under 3 mm long and I took this photo down the microscope. It's a bruchid or seed beetle and it's the first one I have come across so far. I am pretty sure it is Bruchus loti and I swept it from some rank grass at Woods Mill. There is a lot of Meadow Vetchling in the summer on the bank and from the literature it looks like that was what the larvae would most likely be feeding on there. The orange front legs and first four antennal segments are very obvious. The shape of the eyes is amazing. I think they are U-shaped to accomodate the antennae. I think it's quite common. It was such a lovely day, I thought I would see if there were any insects on the wing but I had more luck sweeping than spotting anything in flight. I also saw a weevil called Sitona lineatus (another very common species associated with legumes and also new to me) leaving me on 3119.

BIG flock of Linnets!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:35

This is the majority of a flock of around 400 Linnets that were feeding on a cattle grazed stubble-turnip field during a farm visit today. The noise was intense! It started off slowly today with a fly over Lesser Black-backed Gull being the only addition to the list (actually the first  I've seen on all the farms). Then this bad boy drifted right over head, new to the site. I have now recorded Red Kite on 3/6 of the farms.
As I was counting the huge Linnet flock, I flushed three Grey Partridge, also new to the site and the first decent view I have had of one since I have started these surveys, a great result and lovely to hear them again at close range. Before I had even marked them on the map a Corn Bunting burst into song about 100 m away, another new record for the site and the bird was still there over an hour later, singing away like a musical hand grenade.

Invertebrate-wise it was very quiet, I noticed about a dozen of these bright red weevils on a rubbing post, the only shot I could get is of it legging it away from me so you can't see the rostrum. I think it is Apion frumentarium after keying it out in Joy but I think I'll need to get this one confirmed. It was about 4.5 mm long.
I turned over a few stones and was surprised to find lots of these very brightly coloured and very active carabids scurrying around! I have only ever seen this species before in a pitfall trap so it was a tick for me, it's Badister bullatus and is quite common apparently. Nice to see a really well marked beetle, there are actually seven individuals in this photo, I wonder what they were doing? That leaves me on 3117.


Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday, 15 February 2011 18:54

I went to Filsham Reedbed today and all the work that has been done there over the winter looks great. A miserable day though and I saw very little wildlife. This woody cigar-shaped swelling on a Common Reed stem, as far as I know, is the gall of the fly Lipara lucens and is known as a cigar gall (I find it hard to say cigar gall  without it sounding like cigargoyle!). I think it is the only species that produces this particular type of gall on reed. I have never seen the fly but there is a grub inside that woody cigar somewhere. They seem to be common in all the reedbeds I have been in but I know next to nothing about galls. The FSC book 'British Plant Galls' is really good and I'm itching to use it more this summer.
I also found this small (c4 mm) carabid which keyed out quite easily to Bembidion biguttatum. It was hiding in some fallen deadwood, it's associated with water and damp grassland and is quite common apparently. Sorry for the rubbish photo. I struggle with Bembidions, there are lots of  similar species but this one seemed very straight forward. Now, I'm hoping for some decent weather tomorrow!

Listing heavily to one side

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 13 February 2011 23:23

Having just spent two hours keying out two small dung beetles, I just came across this angry blog post about Mark Telfer's article on pan-species listing and the blog author's response to the comments he received and felt like I needed to make a few things clear too. Just in case any readers are not entirely with me on why I am currently listing everything and trying to get to 4000 species by the end of the year, the reasons are as follows:
  • I've been studying natural history for some 20 years now and as my knowledge base grows, it gets harder to remember what I have seen without some framework that is required to keep learning. Listing helps this. It also points to the areas where I know less and allows me to target my natural history. It gets me to new sites and enriches the whole experience. I want to be the most effective naturalist and conservationist that I can be, I can't do this if I am ignorant.
  • Life is short and I want to experience as much of the natural wonders this country has to offer before I die. I try and photograph most new things I see too, another resource that is valuable to conservation as I give all my photos to Sussex Wildlife Trust.
  • The more you know, the greater the range of work you can do in the field of conservation and help put something back in. If everyone only sticks to the easy to identify groups, we will end up in a situation where there might one day be no coleopterists or lichenologists for example. If we don't know something is there, how can we possibly help to conserve it if the need arises?
  • Listing for me evolved with this blog, the two feed each other (I was doing neither this time last year) and the listing ensures the blog is full of new things and that my enthusiasm is maintained. I get the impression people are not put off by the listing theme, in fact people seem to like it.
  • It's fun. I am actually enjoying natural history more than I ever have which I didn't think was possible. Having an arbitrary goal that is dauntingly far away means I am having to get out there a lot. I am seeing things I have always wanted to see that I just have never got around to seeing (and might not ever have seen if I hadn't started this challenge) as well as things I didn't even know existed!
Anyway, here's some more statistics: Natural history is more than a job and a hobby to me, it's a calling. I have studied wildlife for as long as I can remember, worked in conservation for the last decade, have given up months of my spare time, ran dozens of lectures and courses, helped conserve countless species, observed and identified 3107 of those species, (the two dung beetles were ticks) walked thousands of miles of transects, helped dozens of people with their ID skills and started a blog that within 9 months has had over 25,000 page views and I love every minute of it. I'm 32, I have 15 piercings, 6 tattoos and dreadlocks. I'm no anorak. Sadly there are people out there that get fixated on the word listing and don't look beyond that to the reasons for doing it. Wildlife in this country will be a tiny bit better off for my listing efforts both directly  (in the form of records) and indirectly (by expanding my knowledge and sharing it with others).What's the problem?

I would have been within my rights to have posted an angry comment under Dylan's article but I don't see what that would gain. I blog for fun in my spare time, I don't want to be drawn in to an aggressive debate when I should be enjoying myself. I have not had a single negative comment on this blog and I would like to keep it that way. Consider this my response then, I want to show how this is nothing more than a wholly positive endeavour and I hope this has come across in this post. I know of two people I have helped  inspire to put their lists together already from this blog, one who is only 17 and has already seen 1017 species! I bet he will be working in conservation in a few years. How could anyone put a negative spin on that? Thanks for following!

Oh, the photo by the way is the Fly Orchid fooling the wasp Argogorytes mystaceus which I took at Wolstonbury Hill in 2008.

Children of the Corn

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday, 12 February 2011 16:08

I new it was gonna be a good day when I heard (and then saw) a Blackcap singing in the neighbours garden when I was getting ready first thing. Round four of the winter farmland bird surveys already and spring was very much in the air today with dozens of Skylarks singing as well as at least five Corn Buntings (above) singing too. What was interesting was the absence of certain birds, I didn't see a single Song Thrush, Linnet or Meadow Pipit today and the Common Gulls seem to have moved on also. All the big flocks seem to have disbanded and everything is much more spread out. Best part of the day though was getting at least two ticks. I found this Hairy Snail Trichia hispida under a very old Giant Puffball, I've seen the shell before but never a live specimen.
As I was walking back I caught a couple of different Aphodius dung beetles to identify later and a had a quick look at a patch of gorse to see if I could see Gorse Shieldbug Piezodorus lituratus as I have never seen this common species. First branch I looked at had one sitting right out in the open!  Note the red antennae and the  bluish stripes along the sides of the body. I had a really awesome day, glad I got a survey in and ended the day on 3095 species. The weather tomorrow looks awful so I think I'll take the day off which means I'm going out tonight!

What's your biggest catch of moths?

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 11 February 2011 13:48

Mothing in the early spring can be very disappointing. In my garden when I was a kid I usually did not even catch a single moth until April. When we put the trap out at Woods Mill on Wednesday night this week we caught 20 moths and I was quite pleased with that. It reminded me of something quite surprising that happened in 2009 at Woods Mill. I put the trap out for the first time that year, a bit later than usual as I had been to Australia for the whole of February, it was the night of the 12th March 2009. It was unseasonably mild but I did not expect this!
It is to this day by far the largest number of individual moths I have ever caught in a single Robinson trap. 905 moths, 737 of which were a single species: Small Quaker. Here is the full list:

Small Quaker              737
Common Quaker         78
Hebrew Character       19
Twin-spot Quaker       10
Dotted Border             9
Clouded Drab              9
Shoulder-stripe            5
Oak Beauty                 5 (top photo)
Small Brindled Beauty  5
Chestnut                       4
Lead-coloured Drab     2
March Moth                 1
Satellite                        1

Tortricodes alternella 19
Parsnip Moth                1

Dytiscus marginalis    1

Mid summer usually holds the greatest totals where I have trapped before over the last twenty years, even when I have trapped in woodland before in spring so it was a real surprise. It was so much bigger than the next biggest catch I've recorded which was under 500 moths. I would love to know more about huge anomalous catches, please comment if you have experienced anything like this and particularly if you caught more in a single Robinson trap. I have heard stories about people estimating Silver-Ys by counting how many fit in a pint glass and then counting the number of pint glasses!

The Henfield Herald

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday, 9 February 2011 17:49

I forgot my lunch today and so a trip to Henfield to get a sandwich from Truffles replaced my usual walk around Woods Mill. As I stepped out of the sandwich bar I spotted this Herald on the other side of the road next to a man waiting for the bus. This has got to be one of my favourite moths, I love the bright white dots and stripey legs. My first encounter of these was in caves in the Peak District, lots of them, along with loads of Tissues that I have only ever seen once in Sussex (at light at Mill Hill).

The moth trap is out at Woods Mill tonight for the first time this year, I can't wait! I can only liken moth-trapping to how Christmas morning felt when I was a kid! Of course, I will only be looking at micros and by-catch if I want to see something new at this time of year. Oh, the photo is with the Canon by the way.

My spidey sense is tingling!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday, 8 February 2011 19:09

Whilst brushing my teeth this morning, I had the feeling I was being watched. I looked up to see this little jumping spider (it was only about 3 mm long) on my window. I keyed it out to genus and got an identification, which thanks to Andy Phillips, I can now say was correct! It's a female Pseudeuophrys lanigera. I thought I saw this in Woodvale a few months ago but I was not sure. It's great to get a tick from within your own flat! It's particulary fond of roof tops apparently, just like your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman. The second photo is the epigyne, the sexual organs of spiders are external and hence dissection is not required as it is with so many other difficult invertebrate groups. It's not easy though matching the epigyne to the illustrations in the book.

There were quite a few inverts on the wing today and I have to admit to a very embarrassing tick at Wild Park today, the Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus. This is one of the commonest hovers, I've just never got around to keying it out and recording it. I also added another naturalised plant species growing up there, Oregon-grape. That puts me on 3090! Now, I have just found a tiny black flea beetle sitting by the light switch that makes this spider look huge...

Junior Juniper

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday, 7 February 2011 18:05

Juniper is struggling in the south east of England. Many populations are aging without any new seedlings developing. There are a number of reasons why this is not happening and these include: changes in management, increased grazing pressure from rabbits and loss of seed fertility caused by several host invertebrate species. 

About three years ago at Levin Down, the Reserves Officer Mark Monk-Terry fenced off an area from rabbits to allow regeneration to occur in the compartment which contains about two thirds of all the Juniper on the site. It has also been ungrazed by livestock over this time. Bramble and woody plants are beginning to appear and so grazing is now required to stop this becoming a problem. A search for any seedlings was conducted on Thursday (I'm gutted that I was off sick and missed the moment) and Reuben Beckett (Assistant Reserves Officer) found these two seedlings almost immediately. They were only a few centimetres tall and only about 30 cm apart and were close to a Juniper bush at the western edge of the colony. Thanks to Reuben Beckett for the photographs. A further hour and a half's searching did not yield  anymore seedlings but this does not matter, we now know that Juniper regeneration can still occur on this site.  This is a great result and I am going to get out there this week and have a look at the micro-habitat and see what we can learn from this. We will also carry out a seed fertility test from the adjacent bush to see if that was a significant factor.

Moth balls

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 6 February 2011 20:26

I have just bought a copy of 'British and Irish moths: an illustrated guide to selected difficult species' by Martin C. Townsend, Jon Clifton and Brian Goodey. I have to say I am impressed. I fear many people will be put off by the microscope shots of dissected moth genitals, you shouldn't be. If you are a moth-er, you should get this book, even if you only ever use the paragraphs on external characters it will be worth it. The best thing though is the detailed, step-by-step description of how to dissect a moth's genitals. I know many people are put off by this but once you do it, it opens up a whole world of natural history.  It does however require a microscope, something I use now way more than my telescope. Many beetles for example are impossible to identify without dissecting and taking the odd specimen. I think this kind of text might even encourage people to move on to these more difficult groups (I would say though that dissecting a moth is pretty hard compared to a hard bodied insect like a bug or a beetle). You can buy it from BC at the introductory price of £15 (plus £2 P&P). So please don't be put off by the technical side of this publication, it's a brilliant piece of work and it's so much more than a load of old bo

Six year old photo requires identification

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 4 February 2011 16:57

As some of you may know my back has been playing me up this week and I have been unable to work for the last three days. Bored silly and stuck in the flat I resorted to sorting out my Flickr account and came across a photo I took in Summer (May/June) 2005 at Cliffe Pools of a pyralid moth. I didn't ever come up with an identification that I was happy with and I have just come back to it and I think it's the rare immigrant/occasional resident Sciota adelphella. I went for a second opinion but was told it was not possible to separate it from Pempelia formosa from my photo. 

Having nothing better to do and realising it's the only way I am gonna add anything to my list when I'm house-bound, I searched around online for some photos of each. Have a look at the links above. In all the photos of S. adelphella, the central white wavy line is slightly closer to the head than it is to the wing tips. The distance between the two white wavy lines is far greater than the distance from the outermost wavy line and the wing tip. In P. formosa, the central wavy line is slightly closer to the wing tips than it is to the head. Also, the distance between the two wavy lines is about the same as the distance between the outermost wavy line and the wing tip. It also has a black slash mark between the two wavy lines and seems to roll itself up in a tube more. These observations are only based on a number of photos I have found online, I have no experience of either moth.

If I had the specimen, I think I would be more confident but as it was nearly six years ago I have to rely on the photograph. What would be great is if someone out there reading this knows the answer. I also have no real idea about who exactly is reading my blog so I thought it would also be a good test to see who's reading! Any moth-ers in the Dungeness area should be familiar with these species so please let me know what you think.

Aliens among us

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday, 3 February 2011 11:06

I find it quite galling that an invasive naturalised species is a tick just as much as a nationally rare native is a tick as far as your pan-species list is concerned. How could it be another way? As I have not been that good at keeping a list of the established alien plant species I have seen, I scoured the texts and added nine  vascular plants to my list putting me on 3081. From False Acacia growing on the heathland restoration at Farnham Heath RSPB to Silver Ragwort abounding on the vegetated shingle at Shoreham Harbour. 
This one however was a little more interesting. I found this growing along the banks of the River Rother (West) near Fyning Moor in May 2010. It's Perennial Honesty and gave me a run for my money as it wasn't in any of the books I usually use and didn't look that out of place.  At first I was convinced I had found a huge native crucifer that I had for some reason never once noticed in the books but in the end I found it in an old photographic guide and it was indeed an alien species. I'm certainly not celebrating these plants being part of our flora but as far as your pan-species list is concerned, New Zealand Pygmyweed and Lady's-slipper Orchid both count the same: one! So I better make like Fox Mulder and be a little more vigilant with my alien spotting. Fades out to music from The X-Files...

First for Britain on a Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday, 1 February 2011 11:52

This is Quedius lucidulus and it's a species of rove beetle new to Britain that was discovered by Mark Telfer during a deadwood invertebrate survey of the Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve The Mens  that was funded by the West Weald Landscape Partnership. Read Mark's blog with all the details and thanks to Mark for the photo. Rove beetles are a difficult group, there are more species of rove beetle in the UK than there are species of macro moth! This is a remarkable find and the fallen dead tree where the three specimens were trapped supported many more rare and scarce invertebrates including a single specimen of Oxylaemus cylindricus, thought to be extinct in the UK since the 19th Century until it was found by Mark at Ebernoe Common (another SWT reserve) in 2009. We had great expectations from the fallen Beech from the moment we set eyes on it but I don't think anyone expected it to be quite so productive.

The Saproxylic Quality Index for the site is 476.3, making The Mens the 39th best site for deadwood beetles in the country and the 4th best in Sussex. An Index of Ecological Continuity of 54 shows the site is of national importance for these fascinating invertebrates. In total, 10 RDB species and 38 nationally scarce species were recorded at The Mens during the survey!  

The site is currently a 'non-intervention' site but it's clear that this method of management is not ideal for invertebrates at this site and some work is suggested in the report with an emphasis on creating more open space and nectar sources within the woodland. In addition to this, we need to be better at liaising with our neighbours about how important the resource of deadwood is to these invertebrates. What other exciting finds await discovery in the West Weald?...

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