The wasp spider


Over the past eight years, ecologists conducting wildlife surveys have documented a northward migration of insects attributed to climate change.

Bath City Farm, spanning Twerton to Southdown, has recorded 1,125 species, including 30 new varieties. Notably, species once rare on the south coast have become commonplace in northern Somerset.

Mike Williams an ecologist and Trustee said: “Insects are important indicator species that help ecologists understand the realities of a changing climate on our natural world.”

The Wasp Spider, initially recorded three years ago, has now become a regular sight.

Mr Williams said: “In the 1990s I only ever saw the Wasp Spider on the south coast of England, in Dorset.

“I would never have imagined then that one day they would be found as far north as Bath.”

Butterfly populations were impacted by a dry spring and wet summer, with the Red Admiral bucking the trend due to fewer frosts, leading to increased numbers.

The Jersey Tiger Moth, once exclusive to the Channel Islands, now resides at the farm. Both Roesel’s Bush Cricket and Long-Winged Conehead cricket populations have surged.

“I tell people on my nature walks around the farm that they are listening to the sound of climate change when we hear them,” Mr Williams said.

However, the reduced frost, while benefiting some species, adversely affects plants like the Yellow Rattle. Global temperature shifts disrupt its life cycle, impeding germination during its usual season.

The ecological changes documented underscore the profound influence of climate change on the geographical distribution and behaviour of various species in the region.



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