Endangered beetle to benefit from new habitat creation in Norfolk

The tansy beetle can only be found at three sites in the UK Credit: Andy Brown and Kim Tarsey

Staff at a wetland centre in Norfolk are hoping changes to its reserve will help to increase numbers of an endangered beetle.

The Tansy beetle exists at only three sites in the UK- one of which is at the Welney Wetland Centre. 

Staff are trying to improve and tweak the habitat to promote the type of wetland they prefer and encourage the small population that currently exists on site to grow.

Credit: Andy Brown and Kim Tarsey

It may be one of the smallest species on the reserve, but as far as beetles go it is one of the chunkiest around.  Tansy beetles are a protected species in the UK.  Threats such as loss of their food plant, summer flooding and mowing of riverbanks have contributed to the decline of this insect. 

The centre has been trying to improve the habitat for the endangered beetle Credit: Emma Brand and Graham Hersey-Green.

Leigh Marshall, Centre Manager, said:

‘This beautiful beetle is about 10mm long, iridescent green with stripes of red and gold, it is lovely to see. It was thought to be restricted to just two sites in the UK, Woodwalton Fen and the River Ouse in York, until Steve Lane and Andy Brown first found a few individuals on our wetlands in 2017.  Having surveyed the site and monitored them since then we are now trying to encourage a more stable population by tweaking the habitat creating rides through scrub to open the cover up’.  

Credit: Andy Brown and Kim Tarsey