The past few weeks have been really exciting here at Coombes. Every day something new and exciting seems to have appeared, from the pied flycatchers arriving at the end of April to greater butterfly orchids beginning to make an appearance at the start of this week. In amongst all this excitement we managed to fit in a Big Bug Hunt Day! Lots of families turned up and got stuck in with sweep netting, stream kick sampling and woodland bug hunting and our friendly volunteers were on hand to help with finding and identifying some of the discovery's. 

Chimney sweeper moths were seen for the first time this year whilst sweep netting, along with lots of other creepy crawlies hiding amongst the grass and flowers.

Chimney sweeper moth – photo by Emma Rowe

The woodland bug hunt was just as exciting with millipedes, spiders, frog hoppers and lots of green caterpillars all discovered in amongst the leaves and logs scattered around the play trail.

Having a closer look at some of the creepy crawlies.

Sweep netting fun in the meadow.

The stream dipping was also very popular. With caddis fly larvae, mayfly nymphs and even a bullhead fish!

This event took place thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) helping us to acquire our new land in the Churnet Valley, Bellpit meadows. Although we didn’t visit Bellpit Meadows on the day HLF are keen to find out what sorts of bugs live in the wider area. The big bug hunt day was the perfect opportunity to get local families involved and learn how to identify some of the creepy crawlies that live in the Churnet valley.