Stag Beetle Loggery
Kew’s stag beetle loggery was created to provide a safe haven for stag beetles, which are globally endangered.
Stag Beetle Loggery
How to find the Stag Beetle Loggery
The Stag Beetle Loggery is on the southern edge of the Conservation Area. It is made from a ‘Giant’s causeway’ of tree trunks and was created in 2002 with the aim of providing a home for saproxylic insects (those which feed on decaying wood), and in particular to provide a safe haven for stag beetles which are globally endangered.
About stag beetles
The stag beetle is Britain’s largest native, ground-dwelling beetle. The males can grow to 7 cm long, while the females are a little smaller. Although they have fearsome-looking antlers, which are actually jaws, they are harmless and play an important role in returning minerals from dead plants back to the soil. The larvae mature for up to seven years in rotting wood before turning into beetles.
The species has declined rapidly across the UK, in part due to the trend for authorities and gardeners to clear dead wood from parks and gardens. Stag beetles are now rare in the north of England but are still seen in the South, particularly in the Thames Valley, north Essex, south Hampshire and West Sussex. The loggery is part of London’s Action Plan for Stag Beetles. This aims to protect, conserve and enhance nationally significant populations of stag beetle in the capital.
Things to look out for
The best time to see a stag beetle is after May, when adults emerge from their plump creamy larvae. They are often spotted on thundery evenings between May and August. If you’re not lucky enough to see one, you can see what they look like from the two giant carvings of stag beetles that sit at the base of the loggery.
Help save the stag beetle by building a stag beetle loggery in your back garden at home. Either build a pile of logs that have fallen from trees in your local area, or sink flower pots with lots of 3 cm holes cut in them into the ground and fill them with a mix of earth and woodchip. You can see examples of how to do this in the Duke’s Garden. This will provide an environment in which female stag beetles can lay their eggs.
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