Heather beetle monitoring

We carried out a survey on a site in Hampshire last September which showed that there was a presence of heather beetle.

Heather beetle is a common insect which can strip heather bare and damage the health of even carefully managed heather.

Methods to control the spread of heather beetle can include mowing the heather, or burning it, which exposes the larvae to bright sunlight, which will kill them.

Whilst these methods can be effective, they carry risks, such as risk of fire causing further damage. To try to avoid these drastic measures, we will soon be returning to the site to map the presence of the heather beetle, and to then monitor them. We hope that the increase in the presence of heather beetle was just a natural population fluctuation, and that the heather will recover naturally.

A number of years ago a smooth snake translocation programme was carried out on this site. Every two years Thomson Ecology visits the site to monitor the presence of smooth snakes. Young smooth snakes have recently been spotted, which indicates that the translocated smooth snakes are breeding.

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