The tiny world of insects

Sandscale Haws bug hunting

Sandscale's sand dunes with all their folds and hummocks and ups and downs create tiny micro-climates which are just suited to an array of wonderful insects and the hollow dune slacks and pools are home to a diverse mix of freshwater invertebrates.

In the spring and summer months you’ll see such a mix of insects. Solitary and bumblebees love bare sand and solitary bees make their individual nest burrows into the side of the dunes. It can look like they’re swarming but it’s actually lots of bees all nesting in the same place.

Solitary bee
Sandscale Haws solitary bee
Solitary bee

Butterflies enjoy the flowers which are out in bloom. Many of the most common species feed on grasses but species which are declining across the country that feed on wildflowers like the dingy skipper, small copper and common blue are still quite common here.

Small copper butterfly
Sandscale Haws Small copper
Small copper butterfly

It’s not only the butterflies you’ll see flying around. Dragonflies dart around the tall plants near the various pools at Sandscale where they’ve spent most of their life as larvae. Species such as the black-tailed skimmer and ruddy darter have been recorded for the first time in recent years.

These are species that are expanding their range northwards in Britain as the climate continues to change. Alongside the dragonflies there are diving beetles, caddis flies, damselfly larvae and a whole ecosystem of insects.

Ruddy darter dragonfly
Sandscale Haws Ruddy Darter
Ruddy darter dragonfly