Worcestershire Record No. 25 November 2008 p. 32


John Clarke

In 2007 a local volunteer carried out an intensive survey around a 1.25 transect above Kemerton and Westmancote. The report generated a lot of local, interest and so this year Kemerton Conservation Trust asked for local volunteers to look for glow-worms elsewhere on Bredon Hill. The response was good and we managed to put ten teams of two together. Each team was allocated a route, keeping to the footpaths, and asked to make three visits at and just after dusk to search for ‘glowing’ females. Visits took place in late-June, mid-July and late-July to early-August. The routes chosen lie mostly on the more southerly sides of the hill – from Woollas Hall to just south of Elmley Castle.

Although the survey is just a ‘snapshot’ of Glow-worm distribution, nevertheless it suggests that although it is still common on Bredon Hill local populations comprise loose groups in isolation from other populations. As the females are flightless this has implications for the future of smaller groups.

Where possible the numbers of individuals found glowing has been recorded but the data has a limited value at this stage. Numbers could be affected by weather conditions on survey nights (it was difficult this summer to find ideal ‘Glow-worm evenings’ when volunteers were available). Because of the limited number of visits we do not know when maximum numbers occurred – as I understand it the female ceases to glow once she has mated. The number of adults emerging to mate is also affected by the breeding success in earlier years (they take 2-3 years to develop).

Some volunteers have expressed a wish to do more survey work next year and we may look at extending the survey to areas around the hill not yet covered. The tops of the hill will be difficult to survey because of the length of time needed to get to a selected route – in the lighter summer evenings some of this year’s surveyors found themselves getting home around midnight!

Kemerton Conservation Trust would welcome any modern records of Glow-worm on Bredon Hill.

A copy of the report will be posted on www.kemerton.org

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