2 bees

The insect life at Bedgebury is superb because of our variety of habitat. We are especially renown for dragonflies and damselflies that breed in our lakes and watercourses, including golden-ringed, downy emerald and the nationally endangered brilliant emerald. "Leaky" Lake, so named because it empties in dry summers, is particularly good because fish are absent allowing the aquatic insects, including dragonfly nymphs, free reign. The Pinetum is also inhabited by some of the rarer butterflies such as the white admiral, dark green fritillary and silver-washed fritillary. Due to the amount of ragwort on site, there is usually a large population of cinnabar moths most years. The rare long-horned mining bee can also be found in Bedgebury's beautiful meadow grasslands.

Wood antsWe are also careful to leave as much of the Pinetum unmown as possible, which encourages a wide variety of plant species and the insects that feed off them. When we do mow in the autumn, we collect the cuttings for compost. This further encourages diversity on the impoverished soil and the compost heaps provide a home for the detritivores.

In the forest you will see European wood ant nests - the ants do a good job of clearing the forest floor. Whilst we do not want the nests to be disturbed, in spring you can wiggle a bluebell on the top of the nest and watch it go white as their defensive formic acid bleaches it!