1. ITV Report

On the lookout for Britain's 'largest land insect.'

Stag Beetles can grow up to 12 cm (4.7 in). Photo: Patrick Pleul/DPA/PA Images

It may be one our scariest insects but it is endangered.

The Stag Beetle is under threat across Britain and Welsh gardeners are being asked to help out.

Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is offering advice as to how gardeners can help make their green spaces stag beetle sanctuaries.

  • Create a log pile One of the major problems facing stag beetles is a lack of rotting wood to lay eggs in or near, and for larvae to feed on. By creating a log pile (or a log pyramid, if you fancy a challenge!), you can provide stag beetles with habitat for the future. Log piles are also great habitat for other invertebrates and they in turn provide food for hedgehogs and birds.
  • 2. Leave dead wood in your garden Leave old stumps and dead wood alone, as these provide the perfect habitat and also a food supply. If you want to make the stumps more attractive – try growing a climbing plant such as clematis up it.
  • 3. Reduce dangers: Be vigilant when mowing your lawn and be alert for predators; try and scare away magpies and keep your own pets indoors during warm evenings when stag beetles are flying. Also, make sure any open water has an exit point, and if you see a dead-looking beetle in water, please take it out – they often revive!
  • 4. Record your sightings Let PTES know where you’ve spotted a stag beetle via the Great Stag Hunt! Sightings are key to finding out where populations are thriving, in need of help, or non-existent.
Credit: Patrick Pleul/DPA/PA Images

Mid to late May marks the time of year when stag beetles (Lucanus cervus) are likely to be seen, as warmer evenings draw them above ground to find a mate and reproduce. However, despite being Britain’s largest land beetle, they are also one of Britain’s rarer beetles.