For the person who has everything, adopting a beetle could be an interesting idea
The tansy beetle has been re-introduced to one of its old habitats where it hadn’t be seen in years, since it died out in the area. Until now the metallic coloured beetle’s stronghold has been a 30km stretch of the River Ouse, around York, where it feasts on its namesake, the perennial herb tansy, water mint and gipsywort. This extensive colony was only discovered earlier in the year.
From the thousands of adult tansys in York, a few hundred have been transported down the A1 – in buckets – to Wicken Fen, The National Trust’s oldest nature reserve, in a joint project between The National Trust, Buglife and the Tansy Beetle Action Group.
According to Stuart Warrington, a wildlife advisor for The Trust, ‘a suitable habitat has been created or restored in recent years at Wicken, so we hope the beetle will find the site much more hospitable.’ It is still not known why the Tansy beetle originally became extinct in the Fen.
Despite these ongoing conservation efforts, the numbers of this beautiful beetle continue to decline in the United Kingdom.
Buglife, the only charity in Europe dedicated to the conservation of invertebrates, is encouraging the public to get involved. You can adopt a Tansy beetle through their website and receive, amongst other things, complimentary Buglife membership.
For those around Cambridgeshire eager to have a look at the beetles in their new home, we recommend moving quickly as they will soon head into hibernation for the winter months.
* Follow Country Life magazine on Twitter