You will find out about all the exciting stuff going on with the RSPB in the east of the UK. We cover our sites in the following counties: Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, and some of our great Lincolnshire ones. So if you are if you have never heard of the Strumpshaws and Snettishams or Stour Estuary or Sutton Fens here is you chance.
This week has been National Insect Week! It doesn’t mean that all the insects in your garden gather at the local pub for a drink and put the world to rights. But It means that we get the opportunity to celebrate all those creepy crawlies, bugs and butterflies that often get neglected when we swoon over the wonderful wildlife of the UK. The good folk at the RSPB in the East put on a series of fun, interesting events all week for their visitors to pay homage to all kinds of beasties and they went down a storm.
One of the cool things that i've discovered this week is that there are around 25,000 known species of insects in the UK! And most of us encounter some of these every time we step outside our front doors. Next time you head out (even if it's to the pub), take a peek in your garden or local park to see what you can find - Insects are a vital part of our countryside, so it’s entirely fitting we’ve been celebrating them all week.
Take Antlions for example! Now, when I first started work at the RSPB and I heard about this creature, I misheard and thought they were called ‘Ant Lines’. What is so special about lines of ants, I kept thinking! Seriously, they’re just lines of ants! Now, after the revelation that 'Antlions' were in fact the creature being talked about, a big lightbulb appearedand I was stunned to learn some quite amazing facts about them.
So, here goes:
Antlions can be found RSPB Minsmere on the Suffolk coast and were first found nesting in UK in 1995 at Minsmere with only three previous records.
Antlions have a rather unusual hunting technique. The larvae dig a pit, sit buried beneath it, then wait for an ant to fall in. As the ant scrabbles to escape, the larva flicks sand at it to knock it back down then grabs it in its powerful jaws.
So you see, much more exciting than lines of ants! Happy National Insect Week everyone!
National Insect Week happens every two years and is supported by more than 50 national partner organisations, including the RSPB, concerned about natural history and biodiversity.