Year of Biodiversity - Water beetle mania

Looking for water beetles

A recently-commissioned survey of water beetles and bugs underlines the importance of LOHP sites for rare wetland species. Specialist Geoff Nobes found 67 species of water beetles including 5 rarities designated 'Red Data Book' species and 12 'Nationally Notable' rarities. Even the new scrape at Parkers Piece, completed just over a year ago, had 37 species of beetles and 11 water bugs. At Hinderclay Fen, small pond dug by LOHP volunteers a year ago had 33 species of water beetles, some of them national rarities, as well as the Nationally Rare minute water cricket.

Release date: Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Year of Biodiversity - It's official!

Stoneworts (Charophytes)

It's official - the Little Ouse Headwaters are a Nationally Important Area for Stoneworts! A recent survey of stoneworts (Charophytes) on the LOHP sites shows that we have at least five different species. These large, highly structured aquatic algae are mostly restricted to the calcareous waters of fenland sites. Many of them are very rare. They are called stoneworts because a stoney layer of calcium carbonate is deposited over their surfaces.

Release date: Friday, May 14, 2010

Year of Biodiversity - getting to grips with grasses

Identification of grasses, sedges and rushes

LOHP volunteers joined national expert Arthur Copping for a day demystifying the identification of grasses, sedges and rushes. Our sites have a rich variety of species in these groups. An ability to identify them is cricial in our assessment of the importance of a site and the way in which it responds to restoration manangement.

Release date: Thursday, May 13, 2010

Year of Biodiversity - Newt hunt!

Amphibian course

As part of our Year of Biodiversity celebrations, LOHP volunteers enjoyed a course run by Dr John Baker of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC), learning about identification and monitoring methods for these species. The course ended with a night-time hunt for newts in the ponds of Parkers Piece and the Blo'Norton Fens. The LOHP sites are important for their populations of reptiles (we have slow worms, common lizards, grass snakes and small numbers of adders) and amphibians (we have frogs, toads, smooth and great crested newts).

Release date: Wednesday, May 12, 2010


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