A Grand Day Out

Well that was very nice – my first time as an Events Volunteer at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen. Today was the Big Bug Hunt, with several different habitats for families to explore. I began in the meadow where we got down flat on our fronts to see the tall grass from the point of view of the beetles, crickets and grasshoppers. Actually getting down and touching the ground really brings home just how warm and sheltered it is at the base of the grass. You can see why it’s so popular with insects. Sweep nets, swished about by eager young hands, quickly filled with crowds of plant bugs.

The woodland glade also had long grasses, as well as bramble thickets, trees and a sand bank: all ideal places for a range of creatures to find food and shelter. There was even enough cover to keep humans out of the rain shower (partially). When it cleared some of our explorers managed to find one of the day’s top targets – a female wolf spider carrying an egg sac.


Just after that a perhaps over-zealous junior Steve Backshall captured a slightly reluctant blue tailed damselfly. Happily it seemed cheerful enough once restored to the natural world.


And with that we were just about done. Hopefully all the folk who came along will have had new experiences, learned new things and gained new memories. I hope they enjoyed themselves – it was a ton of fun searching and finding with them.

Check out forthcoming events at Strumpshaw – there’s plenty going on whatever your age or interests.


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