We are the Local Environment Group for the area around Prestwood in Buckinghamshire, including Great Missenden,
The Hampdens, The Kingshills, North Dean and Speen

Our Aims

We aim to protect and enhance the quality of the natural environment through the involvement of local people.

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Protecting Our Environment Registered charity No. 1114685

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Prestwood Nature The Local Environment Group for the Prestwood Area

Coleoptera (Beetles)

Male Stag Beetle (photo by Peter Daltry)513 different species have so far been identified in recent years, reflecting the size of this group of insects.  The numbers of nationally rare species, however, is relatively small, with just four being Notable A and 23 Notable B.  These include the bright red Cardinal Beetle Pyrochroa coccinea, whose larvae live in dead wood, and which, along with its relative Pyrachroa serraticornis, occurs frequently in the area.  It also includes two Ladybirds, the Adonis and a small insignificant one Scymnus schmidti.  Ladybirds are a readily distinguished group of beetles that Prestwood Nature is using to monitor environmental change from year to year, similar to the butterfly transect.  Such monitoring is made even more urgent with the arrival of the large alien Harlequin Ladybird that is expanding across the country and in 2008 became the commonest ladybird in our area. 

Sexton Beetles (photo by Peter Daltry)There is one UK Biodiversity Action Plan species present, the Stag Beetle, which has been seen at Frith Hill and Longfield Wood.  Another important species, which has apparently suffered a decline in the last few decades, largely because of habitat loss and increasing population, is the Glow-worm.  There are currently two known groups of sites for these fascinating beetles in our area and these are being carefully monitored from year to year.  Prestwood Nature is also seeking to locate further colonies in areas where they had been recorded in the past.

We are fortunate that Prestwood was the home of a beetle-collector, Horace Quilter, at the beginning of the last century and his collection was left to the Bucks Museum, being housed in their Halton premises.  This enables us to compare with the beetle fauna a century ago when the area was much more rural than it is now.

Further information:      Ladybird Survey Results 2008