All of a glow


There are a few weeks, usually in July, when there is a very special event on Arnside Knott. It’s the time when late into the evening, verging on night time you can see tiny little glowing lights appearing from the longer grass on the hillside.

First one appears, like a tiny neon glow as if someone had dropped a small LED torch on the ground, then once you get your eye in and get used to the darkness you start to see others popping up like little fairies.

These fairy-tale illuminations are glow-worms. They spend most of their life as young larvae, preferring to live in damp vegetation or under rocks in limestone grassland for around 2 or 3 years. They feed on small slugs and snails and then when the time is right they pupate and become adults.

The females can’t fly unlike the males and so they climb up plant stems and glow to attract the flying males and any interested passers by!

Fussy little creatures, they won’t live just anywhere. They don’t like closely-cropped grassland, or fields where fertiliser or pesticides have been used so Arnside Knott is perfect for them.

Finding a glow worm;

It’s such an experience to see glow-worms if you’ve not seen one before.

Going out after dark, when your usual day time footpaths become dark and unfamiliar and owls hoot and bats fly around is an adventure on its own but include the possibility of seeing these little, glowing lights and it’s something you’re guaranteed not to forget.

Our rangers hold a ‘night time prowl’ event in July each year around the time the glow-worms are glowing so keep an eye on our ‘What’s On’ section for event details each year.