Ask most people to describe what habitat with high conservation value might look like and they will often think of green verdant vegetation. Much early quarry landscaping successfully changed unvegetated areas of grey and brown to verdant green, but the results were sometimes a little too green and seemed somehow unnatural. These restored areas generally supported poor levels of biodiversity and few rare species. In recent years, people have come to realise that areas of bare and poorly vegetated habitat are important for supporting high biodiversity and a range of rare species. Many species of bee, solitary wasp, spider and beetle are dependent on bare ground to hunt and nest because these areas provide the necessary warm microclimate and easy tunneling. However, bare ground does not remain bare for long, vegetation colonises and soon the bare ground is lost. Disturbances such as flooding, erosion and quarrying are needed to keep this habitat unvegetated, and careful quarry management can provide large areas of this important habitat. This project will investigate the invertebrates of Misson sand and gravel quarry in Nottinghamshire. It will study the bee, wasp, ground beetle and spider fauna of areas of bare ground in the quarry. And will ask questions like: which species are here, which areas support them, and what variables (e.g. flooding/erosion, aspect, elevation) do these species need? Answers will help inform future quarry management and restoration.

More beasties from sampling on 23rd & 24th June

We had some great weather for this sampling window (warm and humid) so the site was alive with invertebrate activity. We were lucky enough to see two species of wasp (Ammophila sabulosa and a pompilid species) with prey ready to stock their nests, and saw some new species of flowers in bloom.

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13Jul

Second round of pan trapping for bees & wasps completed at Misson

Collected another good sample of bees & wasps 26-27/5/16. Also captured a Green Tiger Beetle (Cicindela campestris) in one of the traps.

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27May

Some pictures of the bare & poorly vegetated sampling sites to get a feel for them.

Pictures of the 'Ditchside', 'Lakeside', 'Warrenside' & 'Sandyside' sampling sites. Not the best quality, but they give a sense of the sites for now.

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27May

Some wild flowers at Misson Quarry

Field Pansy (Viola arvensis), Silverweed (Pontentilla anserina), and Common Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) on poorly vegetated ground at the quarry.

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27May

Pan trapping at Misson

Just a quick picture to show some pan traps being set by Jackie at the 'Warrenside' sampling site in the quarry.

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16May

First sampling for bees and wasps at Misson sand & gravel quarry

Jackie Greef (lab & fieldwork support technician) and I visited Misson on 11th and 12th of May to do the first round of sampling. The project student isn't in post yet, but it is important when assessing bee and wasp assemblages to do some spring sampling because the summer fauna is very different. Ten batches of yellow, white and blue pan traps were set in each of four areas of bare/poorly vegetated ground, ranging from recently worked to a couple of years old. Pan traps work using colour...

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16May
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