Volunteer Day: 19th June Beetle Monitoring at Shiel Farm


As part of our peat bog monitoring work we have been surveying plants and animals that are ‘indicators’ of bog habitat. These are species that like to grow or live in bog habitat and few if any other places; their presence¬†indicates the quality of the habitat.

This summer we are surveying beetles (and spiders and other beasties) using a sampling method called ‘pitfall trapping’. This involves placing a plastic container within the ground to allow invertebrates to fall in and later be collected for identification. With the help of beetle specialist, Bruce Philp, we have installed a number of pitfall traps at Shiel Farm and nearby sites that will be emptied once a month over the summer.

On Monday 19th June we will revisit these traps to empty their contents and replace them for a further month. If you would like to volunteer to help us do this, it will be an enjoyable day out in peatland habitat where we may see some interesting wildlife and maybe even a shiny yellow thing in the sky! Here’s hoping.

The event will start at 10:00 and we’ll expect to be finished by mid afternoon. Lifts from Kilmarnock or Cumnock Bus Station can be provided – please let me know if you plan to attend the event. Wellies and waterproofs are absolutely essential as this site is very wet! Please bring your own packed lunch and we’ll provide tea/coffee and biscuits.

Hope to see you there!