Andy Harmer was to lead the day and it had the hallmark of an event that was going to be popular; a Cheshire-based conservation organisation holding a workshop on a Cheshire specialty was bound to attract attention. Two groups attended, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This was so all could be involved with the fieldwork and not put too much pressure on the ponds or the tutor!
Andy talked to each group for about an hour, talking comprehensively about the ecology of the beetle in all of its life stages, its distribution nationally and regionally, legal implications, habitat suitability, associated invertebrate assemblage and he even explained how successful recruitment of this beetle may be aided by the ubiquitous Moorhen, a bird that ironically would probably enjoy the larva as a juicy morsel!
Chester Zoo is a known locality for the Lesser Silver Water Beetle since Andy found them there a number of years ago, but finding evidence is sometimes hit and miss, though not today, when the sun shone and the greatest number of egg cocoons ever found in a pond in the UK was found by Andy and the keen recruits. All attendees got to see the beetle, egg cocoons and breeding ponds. It was a great day for all and everyone left Chester a little wiser.
A total of four breeding ponds were confirmed (one new) and a total of 17 cocoons were recorded. All records have been supplied to rECOrd using RODIS.