Beetle hides in Sherwood Forest




A rare beetle is found hiding in Sherwood Forest after a 70 year absence.

The Hazel Pot Beetle, Cryptocephalus coryli, has been found living within the ancient woodland of Birklands.

About 8mm in length it was rediscovered at the Birklands and Bilhaugh Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 2008 by local naturalists Trevor and Dilys Pendleton

A further survey in 2009 found a healthy population resident in the forest and the SSSI was the only site in the country where the beetle had been found that year.

The beetle, which once occurred more widely across England is a key species in the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP), and therefore extremely important to the country’s wildlife.

The species depends on young birch and oak trees within sheltered and sunlit areas the woodland.

Hazel pot beetles have their unusual name because the female adult lays her eggs in containers she constructs from her own dung.

Steve Clifton, Natural England’s Lead Adviser for the SSSI, said: “This exciting re-discovery confirms how vital this and the other SSSIs of Sherwood Forest are for the survival of our biodiversity and highlights how important the sensitive management and ongoing stewardship of SSSIs by their owners is in protecting them.”

SSSIs, such as those in Sherwood Forest are often all that stand between some of our most threatened species and extinction.
Maddy Jago, Natural England’s East Midlands Director

The Birklands and Bilhaugh SSSI in Sherwood Forest is amongst ten of the country’s most important wildlife sites and the last refuges of some of our rarest species.

The SSSIs range from romantic islands and royal parks to ancient fenland and spectacular dales.

They are the best examples of wildlife and geology that Britain can offer.

The list is published alongside a new report by Natural England – Protecting England’s Natural Treasures – which details how the work of landowners, farmers and volunteers is affecting the fortunes of England’s SSSIs.

Maddy Jago, Natural England’s East Midlands Director, said: “SSSIs, such as those in Sherwood Forest are often all that stand between some of our most threatened species and extinction. “

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