Have you ever wondered how many species are creeping and crawling around your feet or flying past you at great speed? When I joined with Buglife and York’s St Nicks I caught a snapshot of some of our local biodiversity.
Armed with nets I joined a group of curious residents to see what we could find. With my first swipe of the net, to my surprise my first catch of the afternoon was a froghopper, quickly identified by the insect encyclopaedia mind of Andy Cutts of Buglife. Going out with experts, you soon realise how our 40,000 bugs in the UK are busy pollinating flowers, enriching soils, shaping habitats and when I caught my second species, the honey bee, even making our food.
My next catch was a money spider, while that of my other prowlers caught more exotic species including a spider carrying a sack of eggs. We then tuned into the moths and butterflies – small tortoise shells (a lifetime favourite of mine), whites – large and common and the speckled wood – my first sighting of one, then a pair and then a crowd of them dancing amongst the blackberry bushes and buddleia bushes.
If you get the opportunity, just take a few minutes to look around you and see what you can see, or better still why not go along to one of those nature gatherings and learn something new. I champion the Tansy Beetle for Buglife, a local and rare species which has chosen York as its home. It is well worth taking a trip to Rawcliffe Meadows in York to catch a glimpse of its iridescent green wings and while you are there see what else catches your eye.