Thursday, June 05, 2014

The Redbridge Stag

Via Redbridge Nature Conservation Team
Helping Stag Beetles

Britain’s largest beetle is unfortunately in decline. Lucky for us in Redbridge they are still a fairly common sight as London is a known “hotspot“. Over the last few years we have been working to improve parks and open spaces for stag beetles by creating loggeries. They have proved successful as we have found stag beetle larvae within the loggeries at Valentines Park and Ray Park. Spurred on by their success we built a loggery within the meadow at Goodmayes Park a couple of weeks ago and we’ll be building another in Seven Kings Park on the 18th June. If you’re free why not come and lend a hand and see how it’s done.

June is a common time to see stag beetles as the males fly around searching out the females. If you see any, please let us know when and where so that we can inform our local records centre.
Well, we have a thriving Urban Fox population. I regularly see 5 or 6 on my way home from the pub late at night and also see them in my garden relaxing under the fir tree during the day. Now we have the Urban Stag Beetle, the Darth Vader of the Insect world. I also see these in my garden, I have a log pile. It’s a load of logs stacked in a pile. Rotting wood is good for bugs and the birds and bats that feed on them. Yes, I see bats too, not to mention lots of different types of bees. I have a garden designed for wildlife and so too, do some of my neighbours.

So does it make you wonder why it is that wildlife is under so much pressure in what we refer to as our countryside and is thriving in urban environments? Do you think it may have something to do with the use of chemical pesticides and artificial fertilizers or industrialized agriculture and farming? Do you wonder how long before the land we in the cities rely on for our food will become unproductive and unable to support us? I do.


  1. I sometimes see stag beetles as I leave Barkingside station in the evening as there is a strip of land there which is uncultivated. My attitude to the fox population is a little more ambivalent - I can get very cross when they dig up my newly planted vegetables but we have had far fewer slugs and snails since the foxes arrived.

    And as for the effects of agrochemicals, why do you think I have been banging on for years about being organic? It's even easier now you can get your veg from OI.

  2. Cllr. David Bromiley11:45 am, June 14, 2014

    I recently photographed a male Stag Beetle on the back wall of my house; the said beetle was about 9cm long (including antlers). This is the first year we have seen a male, although we have encountered female stag beetles in the past. For several years we have had a wood pile, with deciduous and coniferous wood, and have maintained an organic garden.

    The urban foxes are also frequently visitors, and have thus far not been responsible for any anti-social behaviour. Although not always popular, foxes will help to contain any rodent populations in the area, and will leave rubbish alone if it is properly wrapped.

    We have also managed to attract Goldfinches to the garden by leaving out a feeder stocked with Niger seeds; the birds took a few months to find the seeds but since then have become regular visitors.

    1. Just hope you don't get any infestation from the brown tailed moth.

  3. It's lovely that a new Councillor for our ward is not only keen on nature but knowledgeable too, and willing to comment on B21.
    And this made me realize that our Area 3 meeting is pretty soon.
    I hope our redimanager will remember to let everybody know!

    1. Suppression of the residents by Labour's Storm Troopers.

    2. We shall wait (but not for too long) and see what alternative they come up with ...