Conservation

What can you do?

Have a look at the natural environment around you and see if it can be improved for harbouring insects, particularly the stag beetle.

Decaying dead wood (especially from broad-leaved trees such as oak and beech) is an essential component of this beetle’s life history. Instead of clearing away dead wood and debris, set aside space in your garden for a dead wood pile, some of which should be partially buried, as this is what the young larvae feed upon.

If you are cutting down trees, try and leave the stumps.

Allow your garden to grow naturally and don’t use mulch or polythene, as newly emerging beetles can become trapped and die.

Sometimes stag beetle larvae are found in compost heaps. It is okay to move them to a more suitable environment: just dig a hole, place some dead wood and the larvae in the hole and gently cover over.

Many stag beetles are killed on roads and paths. If you spot them, try removing to a natural, secluded environment – they are quite safe to handle.

Keep a look out for water bodies such as butts and ponds during the flying season, as beetles often drown – they cannot swim.

Join the stag beetle survey and record your sightings, which are valuable information for conservationists.