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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Tardigrades

Tardigrades have been found everywhere in Earth’s biosphere, from the highest mountaintops to the deepest sea  and from tropical rainforests to the Antarctic. There are sure to be some, somewhere, in the reserve’s ponds, going quietly about their business.

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Crane Flies

There are hundreds of species of crane fly in this country and almost all of them go by the name of daddy long legs. The differences between species can be microscopically small but we think this specimen photographed in the reserve is either a common European crane fly (Tipula paludosa) or a marsh crane fly, (T. oleracea).

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More about oak galls

This strange object is a knopper gall on an oak tree, photographed in the reserve yesterday by Ian Bushell. At this time of year, our many oak trees are sporting a whole variety of galls.

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Pesticides and soil biodiversity

 A meta-analysis of nearly 400 research studies has shown that pesticides are damaging the soil’s vitally important ecosystems. Researchers have warned that we must be more careful about considering the organisms that live in  the soil when we assess the environmental impact of pesticides. A UN report published in December 2020 found that, without urgent action to halt degradation, the future of our soils looks bleak: it takes thousands of years for new soils to form.

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