Bury Buckets For Beetles

2005 sees the launch of another scheme for monitoring stag beetles, but this time it is the monitoring of larvae.
This scheme is being launched together with the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, and its probably one of the easiest schemes so far!
The best time to bury your bucket is March/April
All you need is a plastic bucket and some wood chip and lots of patience.
The bucket needs to have some holes made in it – as in the picture – they need to be about 3cm in diameter and arranged evenly around the bucket.
A few holes should also be made in the bottom

Then take a plastic carrier bag and fill it half full of wood chip ( preferably not the type from pet shops using for animal bedding ) and half full of soil. Mix the two together.

Find a place in your garden that is neither too exposed or too shady and dig a hole big enough for the bucket to fit in with just the rim left showing.
Put the bucket in the hole and fill with the wood chip.

E mail me at deborahjharvey@btopenworld.com to tell me who you are and where you have put your bucket and I will send you a monitoring form.

Check your bucket about once every two months for the next 18 months and top up the wood chip as required, but DON’T be tempted to dig up the bucket.

After 18 months take a large plastic sheet, dig up your bucket and carefully empty the contents on to the sheet.

Shift through the contents and sort out all of the different creatures into a different container, a yoghurt pot would be ideal.

Count and identify all of the species, any that you need help with a digital photo ( preferably with a coin or ruler , to add scale can be emailed to me , or a detailed description and I will get back to you.

Refill your bucket with the contents and the creatures and replace the bucket in the soil.

Now all you need to do is to top up the bucket and check it at yearly intervals .