Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is looking for volunteers to take part in a ‘Stag Weekend’ – to help save threatened stag beetles across the UK.
From Friday 5th to Sunday 7th June, anyone with a garden or an allotment can help the nation’s largest land beetle by recording sightings and making their green spaces more stag beetle friendly.
If you don’t have a garden, you could look out for stag beetles on your daily walk – and children can join in too with fun activities including ‘meet the stag beetle’ and a ‘beetle olympics’.
Gardens can be a haven for wildlife, and there are lots of ways to turn any green space into a stag beetle sanctuary. Creating log piles and pyramids, and leaving dead wood to rot down in the soil, makes the perfect habitat for these rare beetles.
Stag beetles typically emerge from the ground from late May onwards after spending years as larvae, and can often be spotted flying around on summer evenings. Male stag beetles are easy to spot, as they have impressive, large mandibles (jaws) that resemble stag antlers, and can grow up to 75mm in length, with females smaller, growing up to 50mm in length.
“Stag beetles were once a common sight, but they’ve declined – mostly due to habitat loss – and have even become extinct in some parts of Europe,” explains Laura Bower, Conservation Officer at PTES. “We can’t let that happen in the UK, which is why we’re encouraging as many people as possible to help save these spectacular insects by joining our Stag Weekend, making small changes to their gardens and by telling us about any sightings. These simple actions will allow us to understand exactly where stag beetles are still living and where they need most help.”
For further information on how you can help stag beetles, visit www.ptes.org/stagbeetles – Share your stag beetle photos with PTES using hashtag #StagWeekend
Main image: Male and female stag beetles – Credit Ross Bower