Bury a bucket for a beetle

stag beetle

Helping stag beetles in your garden

A stag beetle flying at dusk is a rare and amazing sight. At up to 7cm long, it’s our largest beetle. Its name comes from enormous jaws that look rather like a stag’s antlers.

Stag beetles take years to mature to their adult state and need to be left undisturbed while they’re developing. Now a threatened species, you can help by giving them a home. They are mainly found in southern England.

Take a plastic bucket, make some holes in the sides, and fill it with a mix of woodchips and soil. Leave it in peace and remember to top up the soil every now and then. It will be more than just stag beetles who take advantage of a home like this – plenty of other insects will love it too.

Attracting insects and other mini beasts

man putting rocks in a garden
  • An informal rockery can be made from a pile of stones and bricks. This kind of shelter is particularly good for insects during the colder months. Check out our guide to hard landscaping.
  • Spiders, woodlice and beetles all add to the biodiversity of your garden and will encourage the animals that feed on them.
  • This kind of habitat is great for slugs and snails, and if you have these, you might attract thrushes and hedgehogs that feed on them.
  • Try smearing yoghurt on some stones to encourage lichens to grow.
  • For a more traditional garden rockery, plant bulbs such as crocuses between the rocks. This will provide insects with an early nectar and pollen supply.

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