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Poisonous spiders discovered on Teesside

A Black Widow which was discovered on Teesside Credit: Naturally Wild

Black Widow spiders have been recovered from a business on Teesside.

They were discovered by employees at a company which does not want to be named.

It's thought that the highly poisonous North American spiders may have travelled to the UK in a freight shipment.

They were caught by wildlife expert Jack Fenwick from Guisborough-based Naturally Wild Consultants.

Mr Fenwick said that, while the Black Widow is highly venomous, fatalities from bites are rare.

Wet weather in 2012 'benefited butterflies'

The wet weather in 2012 dampened the spirits for many but Butterflies that feed on grasses benefited greatly from drizzly Britain.

Undated handout photo issued by the Butterfly Conservation of a Small Tortoishell butterfly. Credit: Jim Asher/Butterfly Conservation/PA Wire

The year, which started with hot weather, saw incessant rain from April which prompted substantial grass growth that benefited species such as meadow browns, ringlets and gatekeeper butterflies.

Ringlet butterflies. Credit: Keith Warmington/Butterfly Conservation/PA Wire

But most butterfly species struggled in the constantly wet and cool conditions.

A Painted Lady butterfly. Credit: Matt Berry/PA Wire

The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey recorded 18,500 meadow brown butterflies across 700 1km squares in the UK countryside in 2012, almost twice as many as in 2011 and the most counted in the four years the study has been running.


Butterfly numbers fall by 22%

Butterfly numbers fell by more than a fifth across the UK countryside last year, a study has revealed.

Butterfly numbers in the UK have dropped by 22% due to last summer's cold weather. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

The 22% drop in butterflies in 2011 is thought to be the result of an unusually cold summer and the ongoing deterioration of suitable habitat for the insects, wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation said.

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