Chris du Feu is a self-confessed slug enthusiast. He hunts, records and preaches about them all over Nottinghamshire.
Did you know...
Slugs are hermaphrodites (they all have male and female reproductive systems).
Slugs are sexual exhibitionists.
Slugs breathe and excrete through the same hole.
Slugs actually have shells like a snail but their shells are much smaller and not visible as they are underneath the flesh on their back.
There are nearly 40 species of slugs in Britain.
Chris du Feu, from Beckingham in the very north of Nottinghamshire, is an amateur limacologist. He loves slugs.
The retired mathematics teacher first started slug recording when he decided to incorporate it into his sixth formers' General Studies activities. He did this for 10 years.
He now records slugs wherever he goes, even on holiday.
"Whenever possible, wherever I go I turn over any old log or stone I see."
Being a slug recorder has its advantages. As there are so few enthusiasts you are much more likely to make new discoveries.
Chris Du Feu
Chris recently discovered a garden slug in Rufford Country Park never before recorded in the region.
"A new species, not only for Nottingham but for the East Midlands. That may sound quite exciting, unless you're a gardener as it is one of the garden slugs that can be a pest."
On a serious note there is a reason for recording slugs.
"Unless we know where wild plants and animals live we can do nothing at all to conserve the world. You may think that slugs are not important. However, just as birds can be indicators of climate change some slugs are also indicators of climate change.
"For instance the Spanish slug has, in the past 15 years expanded its range from south of the Midlands right up into the central belt of Scotland. The only explanation I can see for that massive spread is climate change.
"We are living in a time of unprecedented climate and environmental change. Anything that anyone can do to record what we have now and how things are changing can only be good for posterity."
Spreading the word
Chris gives lectures on slugs and why they are the lovliest creatures on earth around the East Midlands. He isn't really into slug haters.
"It's impossible to sell a slug to some people, and it is not worth trying, they are a lost cause. But just by showing a slug in action on your hand can attract people's interest. Slugs can sell themselves if you give them a chance just as any other form of life can sell itself."
last updated: 07/10/2008 at 16:06