Stag beetles stumperies project

Stag beetle stumperies

This project completed in 2017.

About the project

Stag Beetles are a priority species for the UK. We are lucky to have a good population in the Valley and we wanted to ensure that this remains so in the future.

Stag beetles need dead wood to lay their eggs and their larvae feed on the rotting wood. The larvae are long lived but the adults do not move far from where they emerge - males can fly up to 500m but most females travel no more than 20m. This is becoming a problem as valuable habitat is being lost to wildlife as parks and gardens are tidied up.

Our appeal for 2016 was to create a network of habitats throughout the Valley so stag beetle populations do not become isolated.

Appeal objectives

The appeal objectives were to:

  • build 50 new breeding sites in the Blackwater Valley using existing dead wood
  • build at least one stumpery every kilometre or 10ha of woodland
  • get local groups and individuals involved to build stumperies on their sites and private back gardens
  • record all known stag beetle locations in the Blackwater Valley
  • produce a report on stag beetles locations and sightings in the Blackwater Valley.

Project progress

The Stag Beetle stumperies were installed by volunteers and BVCP Rangers, with financial assistance from BVCT.

At least 14 stumperies existed before the appeal, with a further 50 added by summer 2017 to complete the project.

Volunteer groups who built stumperies included Brickfields, Snaky Lane, Tices Meadow & 1st Owlsmoor Scouts.

BVCT Trustees were instrumental at raising awareness at summer fetes and inspiring schools and families to build their own stumperies.

Read the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership Report: Stag Beetle Stumperies Project 2017

More information