A few days ago, Andy sent me this photograph of a male stag beetle that he had found in his garden. I know that he has a very tidy garden (a subject we have debated together several times!) but he does have several rotting tree stumps.
There are very few records of stag beetle at Cliffe which is where Andy lives. The nearest “hot spot” is Cliffe Woods – so I think Andy is correct in thinking that his tree stumps are the source of the beetles. Old rotting stumps are ideal breeding sites and they need to be undisturbed because the beetle larva takes over 5 years before it is ready to pupate.
Have a look at our previous post on log piles for ways of creating the same conditions. The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) also has lots of information on the conservation of stag beetles. You can send them your sightings. North Kent is good for stag beetles but elsewhere in the country they are in decline.
If you do see a stag beetle send in the record to PTES
Thanks to Andy for the photograph