Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean








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14 June 2011 and 28 June 2011

We left the foxgloves to flower and also found lots of small violets hidden under the bracken.

The glow worm, Lampyris noctiluca, is not at all worm-like but is a beetle up to 25 mm long. Only the wingless female glows strongly, to attract the flying males. Each individual female has an adult glowing life of only a few weeks until she mates, since she dies soon after laying her eggs.

After a few weeks the eggs hatch into larvae, and they remain as larvae for one or two further summers, feeding on small snails which they apparently paralyse before sucking them empty. The two- or maybe even three-year gap between a mating and the subsequent appearance of an adult helps to explain why you may find plenty on a site one year, yet few or none at all the next.


Grid Ref SO588087

The summer bracken bashing! We bash the bracken down in this area during the summer to aid the glow worms. This weakens the bracken and allows the glow worms to see each other when they are glowing. An area which we bashed down last year is definitely not as lush as it was the year before so we feel that we are having the right effect by following this regime.

Key glow worm facts:

We were very grateful for the ice creams provided by our ranger!

Glow worm




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