July 01, 2013

Stag party

Early summer and the stag beetle sightings are coming in. My husband found one a few days ago – dead, unfortunately – while bringing the dog back from her walk on Tooting Common, and a friend of mine has emailed me his annual report; his garden seems to be a favourite spot of theirs, and he has several fantastic specimens this year:

If you spot any, do remember to report them here. London (particularly south-west London) is a real stronghold for these amazing creatures, which are rare nationally.

To help them, don't be too tidy – and especially, leave some dead wood to decay in your garden. They live as a grub for six years, during which time they feed on decaying logs, helping to break them down and turn them slowly back into soil.