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Birds, Wildlife and Gardening

Country diary: banking on a beetle bonanza

<p><strong>Langstone, Hampshire: </strong>A beetle bank pays dividends in attracting fascinating insects to the garden</p><p>Iโ€™m used to spotting the most conspicuous and charismatic species in my garden โ€“ stag beetles, common cockchafers, seven-spot and harlequin ladybirds โ€“ but in the past few weeks something else has been happening. Earlier this year, inspired by the <a href="https://www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk/" title="">Bring Back Our Beetles</a> campaign run by the Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society, I used branches and twigs to construct dead hedges at the back of my flower borders, mounded soil to create a raised beetle bank, and let the lawn grow wild. Already, my modest patch hosts far more of these fascinating insects than I had appreciated.</p><p>There are metallic green leaf weevils (<em>Polydrusus formosus</em>) that drop on to my head from the canopy of the silver birch, common whirligigs (<em>Gyrinus substriatus</em>) that gyrate in schools on the surface of the pond, and glossy blue mint beetles (<em>Chrysolina coerulans</em>), which, along with their globular black larvae, have turned my spearmint leaves to lace.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/17/country-diary-banking-on-a-beetle-bonanza">Continue reading...</a>

Langstone, Hampshire: A beetle bank pays dividends in attracting fascinating insects to the garden

Iโ€™m used to spotting the most conspicuous and charismatic species in my garden โ€“ stag beetles, common cockchafers, seven-spot and harlequin ladybirds โ€“ but in the past few weeks something else has been happening. Earlier this year, inspired by the Bring Back Our Beetles campaign run by the Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society, I used branches and twigs to construct dead hedges at the back of my flower borders, mounded soil to create a raised beetle bank, and let the lawn grow wild. Already, my modest patch hosts far more of these fascinating insects than I had appreciated.

There are metallic green leaf weevils (Polydrusus formosus) that drop on to my head from the canopy of the silver birch, common whirligigs (Gyrinus substriatus) that gyrate in schools on the surface of the pond, and glossy blue mint beetles (Chrysolina coerulans), which, along with their globular black larvae, have turned my spearmint leaves to lace.

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