Wart biter bush cricket

Insect life on Cherhill Down

The wart-biter is the rarest species on the downs, found in only five UK sites.

It likes the mosaic of bare ground for egg laying, tussocky grass for protection from predators and species-rich grassland. It takes two years to go from egg to adult, when they are heard calling from July to October. Careful management of the grassland at Calstone and Cherhill Downs has meant that this rare species has had the opportunity to thrive here.  This particular breed of insect has very specific requirements, such as long grass at certain times of the year and shorter grass at others, a tricky balance to maintain.