LADYBIRDS ARE AMONG farmers’ and gardeners’ best friends with the ability to eat up to 5,000 aphids in their short life.
Having just faced the wettest June on record, however, the ladybirds of Britain are facing a difficult time, with many recently hatched larvae (pictured right) likely to have been washed away.
Another species likely to be affected by June’s unseasonably wet weather is dragonfly larvae (or nymphs). Fluctuating river levels and fast currents are known to wash away dragonfly larvae and, as they live underwater for up to three years, the heavy rain may also have a long-term effect on the population.
Additionally, species such as birds, butterflies, bees and bats do not fly in heavy rain and it could impact upon the amount of food they forage for themselves and their young.
The weather may also affect water voles, Britain’s fastest declining mammal. Too much rain increases the level of the water table and can flood their burrows. On a positive note, the higher water table does provide better habitats for frogs and toads. The Canal & River Trust is asking people to help monitor all wildlife they see as part of its Great Nature Watch campaign, visit canalrivertrust.org.uk/great-nature-watch to find out how to take part.