There are so many ways to have an encounter with insects in the UK. People, young and old, can get out and marvel at the beauty and fascination of the insect world in this country. You don’t have to live in the countryside either!
Interesting insects can be found under stones, flying around us, visiting flowers, in ponds, sharing our houses, living on trees, even living on us and our pets.
To go on your own insect safari you can start by just using your eyes. Try stepping outside, on a warm day, let your eyes do the work and look at the plants and ground around you. It won’t be long before an insect comes into view. It might be a bumblebee flying from flower to flower on a lawn or even a ladybird searching for aphids to eat or a worker ant looking for food for her colony – the possibilities are endless. Insects are by far the most diverse group of animals in the UK and in the world.
We take insects for granted because they are everywhere in our lives. Yet exploring the insect world can be easy, rewarding and educating, especially for children. Many biologists and insect scientists just started off as curious young girls and boys who went outside to see what was there.
An enthusiasm for the natural world is something to be nurtured in children. Not only does it feed their inquisitive minds but it encourages outdoor activities and home-grown projects. Who knows where it might lead?
National Insect Week co-ordinator
Photo and Information kindly supplied by Luke Tilley - Royal Entomological Society