Championing the Tansy Beetle

One of the important things I did at the Insect Festival in York last weekend was to sign up to become a Tansy Beetle Champion. If you live in or near York, do you fancy becoming a Tansy Beetle Champion too?

sm 150611 Tansy beetle Champions poster

Buglife has just appointed its first Tansy Beetle Conservation Officer, Sophie Badrick, here in York, and I was very pleased to make her acquaintance on the Buglife stand at the Festival.

As you may know, the Tansy Beetle is also known as The Jewel of York. It’s a stunning green beetle, one of the most endangered beetles in Britain. It’s found along the banks of certain stretches of the River Ouse here in York – and virtually nowhere else.

People have been coming to York since Victorian times specially to see this beetle. I first saw it in 2009, and have been a big fan ever since.

The beetle features in my Buzzing! book (page 134, for those of you who have the book on your lap as you read this!), and in many of my Buzzing! minibeast poetry shows and poetry workshops.

As the name suggests, this beetle is a bit keen on Tansy. Keen to the point of obsession. No Tansy plants, no Tansy beetle. So the more Tansy plants there are, the better the chances of the Tansy Beetle surviving and thriving. Enter the Tansy Beetle Champions …

At the Insect Festival I signed up to be a Tansy Beetle Champion in charge of growing a Tansy plant. I was given a plant in a pot to take home and grow on.

Tansy plants being given out to Tansy Beetle Champions to rear ...

Tansy plants being given out to Tansy Beetle Champions to rear …

Now, being responsible for the survival of an entire species is a bit of a heavy burden (especially given my track record when it comes to raising plants), so the more of us who grow these plants, the better!

If you live in or around York and fancy doing your bit for the Tansy Beetle (and lifting some of the responsibility for its survival from my shoulders!) then email the new Tansy Beetle Conservation Officer  Sophie.badrick@buglife.org.uk, or phone her on 07880 316026.

And if you’d like to print off this poster and put it up somewhere, you might be able to recruit some more Tansy Beetle Champions too.

Of course the really amazing Tansy Beetle Champions in York are people such as Geoff and Roma Oxford, who have been working tirelessly for decades to highlight this beetle’s plight and put in place measures to protect it. It was great to see both Geoff and Roma at the Insect Festival. Not forgetting Buglife’s York Officer Vicky Kindemba.

Find out more about the Tansy Beetle here and here. And enjoy being a Tansy Beetle Champion!

Anneliese Emmans DeantheBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

 

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