Discover Charlecote's bugs and insects

Dragonfly on leaf at Charlecote Park in Warwickshire

Charlecote’s ancient trees and managed grasslands are home to a myriad of bugs and insects. All of them play an important part of the broad ecosystem here - but some won’t be winning beauty awards.

Name that bug...

You may find it’s easier to name the bugs you discover than you would think.

Found in decaying timber in the parkland are longhorn beetles (their horns can be longer than their bodies), cardinal beetles (bright red), as well as rhinoceros beetles (with a little 'horn' on the front of their heads) and stag beetles (their mandibles look like antlers).

You might be lucky enough to spot a lesser stag beetle
Lesser stag beetle
You might be lucky enough to spot a lesser stag beetle

Look closely and listen too

Along the river, you’ll easily see darting dragonflies and damselflies. Look closer and you may spot tortoise beetles on the water mint at the edges or red mason bees excavating holes in the river bank to collect mud for nesting.

A damselfly rests with wings closed, while a dragonfly will hold its wings open
Damselfly by river Avon in parkland at Charlecote Park
A damselfly rests with wings closed, while a dragonfly will hold its wings open

On any warm day you’ll hear the whispering sussurus of grasshoppers and you can often track one down despite its camouflage in the grass. 

Friends or foes?

It’s not only the bees from our hives that appreciate our flower borders, the lavender along the croquet lawn in particular brings in white-tailed and red-tailed bumble bees too.

What will you discover on a bug hunt in the parkland?
Hoverflies on nettles in parkland at Charlecote Park in Warwickshire
What will you discover on a bug hunt in the parkland?

There are hoverflies in abundance, easily mistaken for wasps at first sight but this is simply a defence mechanism to deter predators. They don’t sting and they are welcome in the gardens as their larvae eat aphids.

Utterly butterfly

The most attractive of all the insects here are butterflies, take a look among the flowers from yellow brimstones in spring to late-flying tortoiseshells in autumn and you’re bound to see them unless it’s a really wet day.

Peacock and Tortoiseshell butterflies on thistles in the parkland
Peacock and tortoiseshell butterflies on thistles at Charlecote Park
Peacock and Tortoiseshell butterflies on thistles in the parkland

There are striking scarlet and black red admirals and peacocks with their distinctive ‘eye’ wing markings. Easily mistaken for a ragged tortoiseshell are comma butterflies – when they close their wings you’ll be able to see the distinctive white ‘comma’ on the undersides.

Another unusual butterfly is the large skipper which looks rather like a moth at rest, this meadow-loving species often comes into the gardens from the surrounding grassland.

Look out for the Large Skipper butterfly, easily mistaken for a moth
Large skipper butterfly on lavender at Charlecote Park in Warwickshire
Look out for the Large Skipper butterfly, easily mistaken for a moth

Why not message us on social media with a picture of your discoveries - we'd love to hear from you!

People walk through parkland in spring at Charlecote
Walking trail

Download our parkland walk 

Explore our historic landscape and learn more about what you'll see. This easy walk will take you up to an hour, depending on how often you stop to enjoy the wildlife and scenery. The grounds are open from 9am to 6pm every day.