Not bog standard
A survey is unlocking the secrets of the bog bush cricket
following their discovery on Little Woolden Moss. Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s ELLIE SHERLOCK joins the search
Bat detectors are normally used to listen out for bats but, on Little Woolden Moss in Salford, Andy Hankinson is using them to detect the “chuffing” sounds made during courtship by rare bog bush crickets.
Little Woolden Moss is a site of particular interest in this investigation. It is part of the much larger area of lowland raised peat bogs that once covered much of the north west, known as Chat Moss. In more
recent times however, it has seen massive degradation due to industrial peat extraction and intensive drainage.
Large-scale restoration work undertaken by The Lancashire Wildlife Trust is transforming Little Woolden Moss, which is an important habitat for many species including the common lizard, black darter dragonflies and brown hares. Among the works are plans to revegetate a large area of the moss with more than 10,000 plants, including heather and cross-leaved heath – two species that bog bush crickets are reliant on for survival.
The bat detector technique will allow this and other sites to be surveyed more regularly and accurately so the impacts of the restoration work can be better assessed. Using bat detectors to survey grasshoppers and crickets has proved successful in previous studies but this is still a relatively new method of sampling for these species. Landscapes can be explored in a new way