On the winter’s coldest day so far, let’s look back to the summer for a while: here is Simon Knight’s picture of a golden-bloomed longhorn beetle sunbathing among the grass stems.

Insect losses

In the UK the populations of our more common butterflies have fallen by 46% in the last 50 years while the rarer species have declined by 77%. We have lost 60% of our flying insects in just 20 years. We have entirely lost 13 species of our native bees since the 1970s and fully expect more to follow.

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Ivy flowers

The reserve’s ivy flowers between September and November; each plant’s flowering season is quite short but a succession of plants flowers all through the autumn. The flowers are small, green and yellow, and so insignificant-looking that many people don’t realise that that they are flowers at all.

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Wasps

By the end of the summer, the workers in a wasp nest will have finished raising and feeding the new queen larvae. The larvae have spun caps over their cells and begun the process of pupation. This indicates a change for the nest.

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Hornets

Although we haven’t yet found a nest, there are always European hornets working somewhere in the reserve. Here is an astonishing video of hornets in flight.

Video by nature photographer, Lothar Lenz, published by Caters Clips.

How to tell a grasshopper from a cricket

  • The most visible difference between a grasshopper and a cricket is that crickets tend to have very long antennae while grasshoppers’ antennae are short.
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Green nettle weevil

Another new identification for the reserve; a green nettle weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus) reported in May this year by Charles Land.

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