Abbey Fields survey detects nearly 700 invertebrate species including some never recorded in Warwickshire before

By James Smith

28th Feb 2022 | Local News

Nearly 670 species of invertebrates have been found in Abbey Fields after a survey was conducted by nationally acclaimed entomologist and local resident Steven Falk.

Commissioned by Friends of Abbey Fields, the survey identified 18 species with national conservation status, as well as four species never been recorded in Warwickshire before.

Supported by Kenilworth Town Council and Warwick District Council, the survey was spread out over a few days in 2021 with invertebrates netted and then identified.

Further time was then spent in the lab identifying species under a microscope, with a comprehensive report presented back to FoAF.

A FoAF spokesperson said: "The importance of invertebrates cannot be overstated, being crucial for biodiversity and the eco-system.

"Species are dying out at an alarming rate and understanding their occurrence and protecting their habitats is essential.

"The recent Green Planet series highlighted the problems created by disturbing the balance of the eco-system - millions of bees having to be shipped in to pollinate intensively grown almond trees, a fragile monoculture that could easily be wiped out."

Whilst an impressive total of 72 bees were identified in Abbey Fields, several recommendations were included for improving the fields for insects and invertebrates.

Friends of Abbey Fields now wants to build up information about the whole range of animal and plant life in the fields both to help protect the eco-system, and as a basis for educational displays and interactive activities for children and adults.

The invertebrate study is an important first step.

Group chairman Ojars Bartmanis said: "Steven, one of Britain's leading experts on pollinators, is actually a Kenilworth resident, and his familiarity with Abbey Fields has provided extra depth to the report.

"Steven was impressed with the rich biodiversity of Abbey Fields, despite it having large areas of amenity grassland."

Steven added: "It was fantastic to have the opportunity to survey the fields in such detail, and I was amazed by the species encountered."

The report is available online here.

     

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