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The Rewild London Fund Supports Our Saproxylic Invertebrate Project

The Rewild London Fund Supports Our Saproxylic Invertebrate Project

We are very happy to announce that our grant application for our saproxylic invertebrates conservation project was successful in the third round of the Rewild London Fund.

The project, managed by Barnes Conservation, part of Barnes Common Limited, will focus on the conservation of saproxylic invertebrates, which are those dependent on dead or decaying wood for part of their lifecycle. The project aims to improve the biodiversity value of our broadleaf woodland for saproxylic invertebrates through a focus upon appropriate care and protection of veteran trees and future veteran trees, the trialling of artificial beetle boxes and the improvement of woodland structure and light levels. The project will also engage the local community in the importance of deadwood habitats and the importance of retaining suitable habitat.

The results of our 2022 survey showed that we have an important and rare assemblage of saproxylic invertebrates on the Common. 27 of the species found have a conservation status with 5 being listed in the British Red Data Book (which lists endangered and rare species) and another 4 are being proposed for Red Data Book status, based upon their rarity. This makes Barnes Common a site of national importance for for saproxylic invertebrates.

Besides deadwood for their larvae, many of these rare insects also need nectar-rich flowers to feed on as adults. So if you want to help them in your own garden, consider planting hawthorn (either solitary or as a very bird-friendly hedge), or leaving wildflowers such as cow parsley and wild carrot to grow and flower.

This project is supported by the Mayor of London, in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust.

In the third round of funding, the Mayor of London awarded a share of £1 million to these 21 projects to rewild communities across London, helping to improve the environment and make the capital more resilient to climate change.