BioScan Flying Insect Project at Yarner Wood

Insects are of major ecological importance playing an essential role in ecosystems, pollination, nutrient recycling, and pest control. 1 million species have been described worldwide, although scientists believe the number could be 10 times higher – the UK alone has approx. 24,000 recorded species. https://www.royensoc.co.uk/entomology.  Recent declines in the biomass of flying insects have serious ecological consequences, affecting human and ecosystem health and it is recognised that this needs to be urgently addressed. Comprehensive data is crucial to informing effectiveRead more

The Ash Bud Moth and Woodland Connectivity

Fragmentation of habitat plays a major role in the decline of species and, as ecological research seeks for more evidence of the changing conditions across a wider landscape, increasing problems from the spread of tree diseases are adding to these threats to survival. In some cases, there is an obvious, visible isolation of trees and woodlands but we must also consider the less apparent isolation of some of the small but vital species that rely on those trees. Some wildRead more

Marsh Tit in the Wood

May, the month when the dawn chorus will be starting to build up as resident species stake out their territories. These early weeks of Spring are actually the best time to appreciate some of our resident species contributions to the dawn chorus, as they will soon be quieting down to concentrate on nest building and raising young. Among these early singers are our four resident species of tit – Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit and Marsh Tit. This monthRead more

Step into Spring

“Come with me into the woods, where spring is advancing, as it does, no matter what….” Mary Oliver, Poet With the lengthening days and Easter upon us spring is definitely in the air and accelerating in pace. The start of spring though is open to interpretation depending on how you measure it and for what purpose. The meteorological spring, for instance, is based on 4 three-month periods using annual temperature cycles providing consistent markers between the seasons to enable comparativeRead more

Veteranisation – Bat Conservation and Old Wood Features

Back in March 2020, the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) had organised a Woodland Bat Symposium at the WWF’s Living Planet Centre in Woking, Surrey. Only days before the battiest people from across the country were due to meet and share the latest news on bats in woodland habitats, the national conference was postponed – the first Covid-19 lockdown was around the corner. I was due to attend the conference to present a talk about how the Woodland Trust has beenRead more

Wood Ants – the world beneath your feet

The distinctive thatched domes of wood ant nests are a ubiquitous part of the National Nature Reserve (NNR) landscape, frequently ignored or the cause of mild distress if you unknowingly stand within a foraging route on a woodland track. They may be one of life’s ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ as despite being locally common across England and Wales there are real concerns about contraction of red wood ant populations. So a timely look at theRead more