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.
The Blackwater Valley Countryside 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 & gardens are tidied up.
- 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 involved to build stumperies on their sites e.g. local conservation areas, schools’ grounds & private back gardens They would all help to achieve our targets.
- Record all known stag beetle locations in the Blackwater Valley. BVCP staff and volunteers can fill in the gaps on the sites BVCP manages.
- Produce a report on stag beetles locations & sightings in the Valley. This will map the current populations in the Valley and also contribute towards national figures compiled by PTES (People’s Trust for Endangered Species).
Log pyramids soon started to spring up all over the Valley and more and more local groups became involved! We found at least seven that were already in existence before we started the Appeal. By April BVCP rangers had done at least five including the new Wellesley Woodlands, Brickfields had built one, and other groups such as Tices Meadow, Cove Brook, and Snaky Lane had said they would. So we were well on our way to our target of 50.
As at February 2017 we have got close to the 40 mark and are confident of reaching our half-century soon.
Although it is closed for donations there are several ways you can still support this Appeal
- Let us know of existing Stag Beetle habitats in the Valley
- Let us have your Stag Beetle sightings [ID note: Stag Beetles are smooth and shiny]
- Build one or more stumpery ..Log Pyramid leaflet [Logs are available – Please ask if you need some]
- Let us know the locations of your new stumperies
- Make your garden Stag Beetle friendly …Stag Beetle leaflet
- Tell your friends and get them involved too!
Male & female stag beetles photo Ross Bower, PTES..People’s Trust for Endangered Species www.ptes.org/stagbeetle.
Sue Cload BVCT Trustee