Other Insects & Invertebrates

Bees, bugs, beetles and creepy crawlies are all players in the web of woodland life.


Lesser Stag Beetle
Roger Key

Species dwelling in deadwood or veteran trees for all or part of their lives have become alarmingly scarce and local and national environmental groups are working with foresters to ensure dead and dying trees and logs are left for these creatures where it is safe to do so.

Woodland and forests are rich habitats for invertebrates. Open, sunny, sheltered space within woods is valuable too as are ponds and wetland.

There are 30,000 species of insects and other invertebrates in Britain - making up the greatest section of our species biodiversity.

Many invertebrates occupy tiny and specialised microhabitats - and the adults and larvae may have very different lifestyles and in different habitats in or around woodland.

Dragonflies and damsel flies are amongst the most ancient living species on the planet, having existed for almost 300,000,000 years. There are now 38 species of dragonflies breeding in Britain - but of these, 7 are vulnerable and a further 3 have already become extinct during the past 40 years. But on the plus side, 3 new species of dragonfly have taken up residence in Britain in the last few years and several species, formerly scarce, are more common now. Dragonflies inhabit fresh water and wetland such as ponds, lakes, rivers, marshes, fens and bogs, often in or adjoining woodland.

The RFS is working towards enhancing habitat for the Ruddy Darter in our new multi-purpose woodland at Battram in the National Forest.

More: English Nature, the Countryside Commission for Wales, the British Dragonfly Society and the Amateur Entomologist Society.