Stag beetles stumperies project

Stag beetle stumperies

Stag beetles need our help

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

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

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

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 - this also contributed towards national figures compiled by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES).

Add the logs

Building stumperies

Stumperies sprung up all over the Valley and more and more local groups got involved.

At least seven stumperies were already in existence before we started the appeal, and BVCP rangers created at least five including the new Wellesley Woodlands.

Brickfields built one, and other groups including Tices Meadow, Cove Brook and Snaky Lane said they would.

How you can help

Fill in with soil

  • let us know of existing stag beetle habitats in the Valley
  • let us have your stag beetle sightings
  • build stumperies
    1. dig a hole
    2. add the logs
    3. fill in with soil
  • let us know the locations of your new stumperies
  • make your garden stag beetle friendly
  • tell your friends and get them involved too!

More information

Project progress

Take part in the Great Stag Hunt

May 23, 2019
We've built 50 stumperies in our Valley. Find and record the beetles in your gardens.
Read more