Rare Diamond spider discovered

Diamond Spider, found by Lucy Stockton in Clumber Park
Published : 04 Oct 2017

A spider presumed extinct in Britain for almost half a century has made a remarkable comeback, thanks to habitat restoration.

Two of our volunteers have found a rare Diamond spider (Thanatus formicinus) while searching for arachnids in heathland at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire. The spider has only been recorded in the UK on three occasions, and was feared to be extinct.

Lucy Stockton, who made the discovery with fellow volunteer Trevor Harris, says, 'The spider ran away from me twice but with persistence and some luck I caught it; at the time I had no idea that it would turn out to be such a rare find. Upon closer inspection our spider had a conspicuous ‘cardiac mark’, a black diamond shape on its abdomen, edged with white that helped us to identify it.'

We are working on an £8.5 million restoration programme to revive parts of Clumber Park, which includes restoring areas of heathland and other important habitats for wildlife. This is part of the our wider ambition to restore 25,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat by 2025.

Matt Shardlow, Chief Executive of Buglife, said, 'We are absolutely delighted that this pretty little spider has been re-found, we had almost given up hope.  It is a testament to the crucial importance of charities like the National Trust saving and managing heathland habitats.'