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What mini beasts are hiding in your garden?


Magnifying glasses and nets at the ready, it’s time to take a look at the miniature marvels in your green space!

The 18th June marks the beginning of National Insect Week, a big biannual celebration of all things small, run by the Royal Entomological Society. And, there is a lot to celebrate!


Did you know that more than 24,000 species of insects have been recorded across the UK? That’s a whole lot of wildlife to enjoy! Whether you prefer the beetles or the butterflies, the bugs or the bees, there is something to take everyone’s fancy.

‘Looking at you, Looking at me’ by Keith Trueman
                         – Specially Commended Adult Category 2016

Francisca Sconce from the Royal Entomological Society said: “We are very excited for the eighth National Insect Week and hope that people around the country will share the wonder of the little things that run the world”

Events kick off this weekend (16th-17th June) and continue until 24th June all across the country. There are over 900 to choose from, so why not take a look and see what’s happening in your area?

If you want to do something really close to home, you could get out in the garden and see what’s happening in the undergrowth. Insects are vital pollinators of UK wild flowers, so it’s great to find out which species are making a home in your green space. Here’s some of our favourite activities listed on the National Insect Week website, but be sure to check out all the resources available!

  1. Find out if you have insects in your garden. Luke Tilley has some great advice on how to identify an insect – did you know that centipedes, millipedes, woodlice and spiders are NOT insects? There are also instructions for how to make your very own insect viewer!
  2. Need some help catching insects? Here’s how to make your very own sweep net from an old coat hanger and pillowcase!
  3. What have I found? Once you’ve caught an insect you’ll want to know which one of the 24,000 species it is. You might not be able to know exactly which species, some are very similar, but this handy free download ‘Bugs Count’ from OPAL will help you work out if it’s a beetle or a bug, a bee or a wasp!
  4. Take a photo! Take a picture of the mini beasts you find to help you remember what you’ve seen. You can also submit your photos to the National Insect Week photography competition from Monday 18th June right up until September. You can see some of the beautiful winning entries from 2016 here.
  5. Want to keep the insects coming back? There are some top tips here on how to make your garden insect friendly!

What a wonderful way to spend some time outside for all the family!

Let us know how you get on via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and let the Royal Entomological Society know how much you enjoyed National Insect Week #NIW2018 on Twitter and Facebook too!

National Insect Week encourages people of all ages to learn more about insects.

Every two years, the Royal Entomological Society organises the week, supported by a large number of partner organisations with interests in the science, natural history and conservation of insects.

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