Bringing bugs back to LIFE

P1070947Flanders Moss NNR

This week a conference was held in Stirling all about invertebrate conservation. The aim was to bring together people working on bug projects that receive European LIFE funding from all over Europe to discuss how these projects can better cater for the oft forgotten small things. Trapping 80 conservationists indoors for 2 days is never going to be satisfactory so Flanders Moss was an obvious choice for a field trips to allow them to get some fresh air.

Bug people from at least 11 countries came out for the afternoon to see the work we have been doing on Flanders. When you get this number of boggy and bug people together from across Europe the conversation was wide ranging and very interesting. Ditch blocking, stump flipping, ground smoothing, large herbivore impacts and sheep versus cattle on bogs and dogs delivering conservation work (in this case beetle hunting sniffer dogs) were all discussion topics and it was fascinating to hear about grazing with animals in Lithuania and bog management in Poland.  And it gave us a chance to talk about how we are working to look at the rare bog invertebrates on the landscape scale across the Forth Valley, surveying not just Flanders Moss but the other peatland sites found near by. As ever there were areas of similarity and great differences in the work done across Europe.

It is invigorating attending these sort of events, both in hearing new ways of working but also having another look at what you are doing and assessing if it can be improved. We hope that all the delegates enjoyed their visit to Scotland and that Storm Ali didn’t make it too difficult to get home.




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