Take part in the Nottinghamshire Glow Worm survey
 
The Glow Worm season is well underway and a small band of surveyors continue to survey local sites for Glow Worms. Results (both positive and negative) from the 2012-2016 surveys, are produced at the bottom of this page. So please join in and if you do, use the online form to send us your sightings and contribute to the survey.
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  The Glow Worm in national decline

The Glow Worm (Lampyris noctiluca) is one of our most fascinating and endearing insects. Well known for its ability to produce light, the Glow Worm holds a unique place within UK fauna. The female Glow Worm's bioluminescent glow has formed the basis of fairy tales and folk lore over countless centuries and has charmed both children and adults throughout history.

Although still regarded by many authorities as being both nationally and locally common, this delightful beetle appears to be in a serious decline. Habitat loss through urbanisation and industrial development and the use of pesticides and herbicides through modern farming practices, have all contributed towards the Glow Worm's decline.

Today, we know little more about their current UK range, than Victorian naturalists did over 100 years ago. But has the Glow Worm actually declined in Nottinghamshire? Certainly there is a lack of modern records from many of its known sites, but is this through a genuine decline, or just a lack of recording?

Glow Worm distribution in Nottinghamshire

Our modern knowledge of the Glow Worm's Nottinghamshire distribution, largely continues to rely on what we think, rather than what we know. Certainly there is a lack of modern records from many of its known sites and the problem is that very few people are actively recording Glow Worms. The Nottinghamshire Coleoptera recorder is still of the opinion that Glow Worms are quite widespread throughout the county, yet the distribution map we have produced would claim otherwise.

The lack of historical records or reported sites, would also suggest that the Glow Worm has never actually been widespread here. Certainly, there may be an element of secrecy regarding some colonies and while we have been informed of at least one healthy colony on private land, there must be others out there waiting to be discovered.

If other people are indeed keeping an eye on their local colony, then they are not letting on. This is a shame, because national data suggests that the Glow Worm has actually decreased in the past 100 years.

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This may well be the case, but has our most charming beetle declined in Nottinghamshire? The answer is probably yes, but it is proving that it has declined effectively through a lack of surveying, that seems to be the main problem and this is where everyone can help.
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The Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey

In 2012, a small group of dedicated Glow Worm enthusiasts, set out to map the Glow Worm's distribution across Nottinghamshire in a determined effort to secure enough data to help confirm any decline. Our first task was to gather and collate all available records and sites, some dating back over 100 years.

Mapping produced some unexpected results, showing that the Glow Worm's distribution was much more restricted than was previously thought. There was an almost complete absence of records from the Trent Valley, where they perhaps might have been expected.

Our mapping showed that Glow Worms are largely confined to those areas of Nottinghamshire which lie on Sherwood Sandstone. This includes areas such as Clumber Park, Sherwood Forest and Sherwood Pines, but it is possible that new Glow Worm sites still await discovery.

Why survey?

It is surprising how little we actually know about the distribution of many of our insects. So by surveying one of the most easily identified species, we have the chance to accurately map the Glow Worm in the county for the very first time.

Site access permissions

As a general rule, you will not require any access permissions if surveying for Glow Worms along designated public footpaths or bridleways. If wanting to survey for Glow Worms on any private site, please check and arrange access permissions with the landowner before your visit.

All Forestry Commission sites will require you to have an issued permit before visiting. We may be able to help arrange survey permits for those wishing to survey Forestry Commission or Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust sites. Please read our disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

 
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How to take part in the survey

2016 will see the Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey enter its 5th year and we continue to need your help. No specialist equipment is needed and the whole family can take part. Glow Worms traditionally prefer grassy habitats, but disused railway lines, forest rides and roadside verges on well drained soils, are all ideal sites to look for them.

Surveying for Glow Worms is easy, but best undertaken without the use of a torch, as your eyes will fully adapt to the dark after about 20 minutes. Females will usually find a prominent stone or leaf, from which to attract a male. Walk in suitable habitat as soon as it becomes dark enough to see stars and simply look for the females green bioluminescent glow.

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Results

We need all results. Negative results from a site are as important as positive results, in helping us to map the Glow Worm's distribution across the county. Knowing more about the Glow Worm's present distribution, would also give us an idea of how we can help site owners to manage their sites more sympathetically to conserve them.

Publication and use of results

At the end of the Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey, all site owners will be contacted and informed of the presence of any Glow Worm colonies found on their land. All Glow Worm records will be reported to the UK Glow Worm Survey and to the Nottinghamshire Biological and Geological Records Centre at Wollaton Hall. All survey sites and grid references producing either positive or negative results, will be published on this website. Sites on private land will be listed as private and with no public access. Only four figure grid references will be used for such records.

How to submit your Glow Worm records/sightings

The easiest and quickest way to contribute your records to the Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey, is by completing our simple online survey form, which can also be used to send in any old Glow Worm records you may have. Old records are important in helping us to determine a more accurate picture of Glow Worm distribution and how it may have changed over time. It is just as useful if we know where Glow Worms are not found, so please remember that negative results from a site, are equally as important as positive results to the survey and will help in our mapping of the Glow Worm's distribution at the end of the survey.

Click here to complete the NGWS survey form

Alternatively, your survey results can be sent to us directly via the post, giving details of observer, date, location, an accurate six figure grid reference and a short description of habitat type, e.g. woodland ride, grass bank, disused railway line etc.

Please send your results to the following address.

The NGWS 13 Day Street, Market Warsop, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire NG20 0NG

 
     
Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey results 2016
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Surveyed   Site name   Grid ref   Site type/habitat   Qty   Notes   Recorder
........................ . ........................................................ . . . ................................................ . . . .......................................................................................... . .
July 21st   Clumber Park (Springlands)   SK613763   Woodland edge   1   Single female from a previously known area   LM.
July 19th   Sherwood Heath   SK647675   Heathland   2   Two females recorded   SA.
July 18th   Beech Hill Wood   SK646643   Deciduous woodland and field edge   0   No Glow Worms recorded   LM.
July 18th   Beech Wood   SK645630   Deciduous woodland and field   0   No Glow Worms recorded   LM.
July 18th   Cutt's Wood   SK647621   Mixed woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   LM.
July 18th   Near Mansfield   SK5759   Mature mixed woodland   0   A female reported from this private site in 2015, but no Glow Worms recorded during this survey   MD.
July 14th   Toad Holes Wood   SK617882   Mature deciduous wood   0   No Glow Worms recorded   LM.
July 12th   Gosling Carr   SK660721   Alder Carr/wetland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 12th   Blackcliffe Hill Plantation   SK664710   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 12th   Walesby Heath/Scout Camp   SK665781   Grassy heathland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 12th   Whitewater Lane, Walesby   SK663702   Grassy heathland   0   No Glow Worms recorded. Site last surveyed in August 2012   TP. DP.
July 10th   Holme Pierrepont/Skylarks NR   SK619391   Former gravel pit works   0   No Glow Worms recorded and no males attracted to artificial lure   MD.
July 10th   Holme Pierrepont/Blotts Pit   SK620388   Former gravel pit works   0   No Glow Worms recorded and no males attracted to artificial lure   MD.
July 10th   Holme Pierrepont/A52 Pit   SK615384   Grassland/wetland   0   No Glow Worms recorded and no males attracted to artificial lure   MD.
July 9th   Misson Carr NR   SK715975   Wet woodland, marsh and grassland   0   No Glow Worms recorded. Site thought to be possibly too damp/wet   LM.
July 4th   Colwick Park and Racecourse   SK607396   Mixed grassland and light woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded. Some habitat considered suitable near racecourse but serious light pollution from Greyhound track badly affected western end. Large areas of the park muddy and too poorly drained but less light pollution   MD. WH.
June 28th   King's Clipstone/Intake Wood   SK593642   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 26th   Swinecote Road, Budby   SK627688   Grass verge   2   Two larvae recorded glowing. A previously known site at the junction of the A616 and the B6034   TP. DP.
June 26th   Edwinstowe STW   SK642670   Farm track/riverside   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 26th   Cockglode Wood   SK642673   Woodland/heathland   1   Single female. Site runs joins on to Sherwood Heath SSSI, which is a known Glow Worm site   TP. DP.
June 22nd   Peafield Lane   SK572657   Mixed woodland   0   No males attracted to artificial lure left on site   TP. DP.
June 22nd   Peafield Lane   SK571654   Coniferous plantation   0   No males attracted to artificial lure left on site   TP. DP.
June 19th   Near Peafield Lane   SK601664   Woodland edge   1   Single female from a previously unknown area   TP. DP.
June 19th   Bradmer Hill   SK598665   Woodland edge   1   Single female recorded   TP. DP.
June 18th   King's Clipstone/Archway Rd   SK608657   Farm track/riverside   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 18th   Hazel Gap to Gleadthorpe   SK601710   Woodland edge   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 18th   Fox Covert Wood and quarry   SK563822   Disused limestone quarry.   0   No Glow Worms recorded   LM.
June 17th   Harlow Wood   SK5556   Coniferous plantation   44   Recently discovered (2013 at latest) healthy colony on strictly private land   JK. CK.
June 9th   King's Clipstone/Archway Rd   SK608657   Farm track/riverside   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 9th   New Lodge Plantation   SK607658   Woodland edge   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
 
Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey results 2015
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Surveyed   Site name   Grid ref   Site type/habitat   Qty   Notes   Recorder
........................ . ........................................................ . . . ................................................ . . . .......................................................................................... . .
July 12th   Gibraltar Plantation (edge)   SK605715   Woodland edge   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 12th   Duncan Wood   SK616718   Woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 1st   Bradmer Hill   SK598665   Woodland edge   3   Three females found along small path running along edge of woodland, bordering arable fields.   TP. DP.
 
Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey results 2014
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Surveyed   Site name   Grid ref   Site type/habitat   Qty   Notes   Recorder
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June 6th   Kneeton   SK700455   Dense woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   MD. PP.
June 8th   Clumber Park   SK614754   Woodland   3   Three females   LM.
June 6th   Rainworth Heath   SK591590   Lowland Heath   0   No Glow Worms recorded   MD.
June 30th   Clumber Park   SK616730   Woodland   12   12 females recorded along woodland track, between SK615733 and SK617727   LM.
July 1st   H   SK596672   Woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 1st   H   SK590670   Coniferous woodand   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 1st   Blakeley Lane, Market Warsop   SK580669   Woodland edge/farm track   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 1st   H   SK585667   Coniferous woodand   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 3rd   Bradmer Hill   SK598665   Woodland edge   1   Previously unknown site. One female found on grass in middle of small path running along edge of woodland, bordering arable fields.   TP. DP.
July 3rd   Clipstone Drive   SK591666   Deciduous woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 3rd   Buck Gates, Thoresby Estate   SK637691   Deciduous woodland   1   Single female   MW.
                         
Survey report from Martin Dale - Kneeton, June 6th 2014

Phil Parry and myself did a survey of the area of wood and flood plain alongside the south bank of the Trent called Watson's Piece. This was the location where a work colleague had reported seeing Glow Worms present in 2008. The location was accessed off the Kneeton Road between East Bridgford and Kneeton via Old Hill Lane - a track leading down to a large open field grazed by cattle. Historically, Old Hill Lane connected to one of the Trent's old ferry crossing points - the image of which can still be seen in the aerial view here; The area called Watson's Piece is partially in the flood plain of the Trent and on the wooded mudstone bank of Old Hill.

We surveyed Old Hill Lane itself and approx 1km of the adjacent flood plain and wood for Glow Worms between 22:20 and 00:10. None were found. The lower lying parts of the flood plain were totally inaccessible due to standing water, and much of the area extremely muddy due to recent rain and churning by cattle movement.

To the south-west of the area, we reached the enclosure that contained the location where Glow Worms had been previously recorded (SK697453). An established path was marked with arrow marker posts and a stile here; but the access through was severely restricted by overgrowth and high nettles making access near impossible at present. The likely presence of Glow Worms was inconclusive. Whilst the enclosed area did seem to be quite a haven for bird-life and has not been grazed, the nettles and overgrowth would not immediately suggest idealised Glow Worm habitat! We briefly checked out a track down to the other end of the site here; but the whole area of wood has been cleared and is now a crop field right down to the river.

Many thanks to Phil Parry for providing the transport for the evening and assisting in the hunt.

Martin Dale

 
Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey results 2013

Unfortunately and despite much publicity, we had very few responses to the 2013 survey. Perhaps the real shame is that despite the large number of people being employed by conservation organisations, land/site management and wildlife groups, it seems that no one could spare just one hour, during the course of the Spring and Summer. However, despite this, four new Glow Worm sites were located within Clumber Park by Ludwik Michalek and James Glendenning and an additional three areas of Clipstone Forest/Sherwood Pines covered by Andy Lowe, were found to have Glow Worms.

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Surveyed   Site name   Grid ref   Site type/habitat   Qty   Notes   Recorder
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June 16th   Swinecote Road, Budby   SK627688   Grass verge   1   Single larva   TP. DP.
June 16th   Sherwood Heath   SK647675   Heathland   1   Single female   TP. DP.
June 24th   Clumber Park   SK616732   Woodland   1   Single female   LM.
June 24th   Harlow Wood   SK5556   Coniferous plantation   0   Previously unknown colony   JK. CK.
June 24th   Clumber Park   SK619723   Grass meadow   1   Single female   LM.
June 24th   Barrow Hills   SK680920   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   LM.
June 29th   Near Everton Carr Farm   SK6893   Dense woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   LM.
July 2nd   Sherwood Forest CP   SK611676   Grassy woodland ride   5   A previously unknown site, adjacent to large Glow Worm colony at Clipstone Old Quarter.   AL.
July 7th   Sherwood Forest CP   SK627680   Ancient woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 9th   Gibraltar Plantation   SK605723   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 10th   Clumber Park   SK624732   Grassy heathland   2   Two females   JG.
July 10th   Hanger Hill Plantation   SK601695   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 11th   Clumber Park   SK628755   Grassy heathland   2   Two females   JG.
July 16th   Colwick Park   SK609395   Woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   MD.
July 16th   Clipstone Forest   SK619603   Coniferous plantation   5   Between 3 and 5 females noted in July   AL.
July 16th   Clipstone Forest   SK619605   Coniferous plantation   1   One female noted on two dates in July   AL.
July 16th   Clipstone Forest   SK620608   Coniferous plantation   11   Between 5 and 11 females noted in July   AL.
                         
The Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey results 2012

Survey sites away from Clipstone Old Quarter (not listed here) and providing negative results for Glow Worms are shown in grey. But there is always the possibility that Glow Worms could still be present at most of these sites given further surveys. Sites where Glow Worms were recorded are in blue. The lower site survey results, refer to searches for late females and/or larvae.

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Surveyed   Site name   Grid ref   Site type/habitat   Qty   Notes   Recorder
........................ . ........................................................ . . . ................................................ . . . . . .
June 2nd   Fanny's Grove   SK610709   Former picnic site   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 12th   Peafield Lane   SK571654   Mixed plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 12th   Peafield Lane   SK572657   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 12th   Mapperley Golf Course   SK598436   Golf course   0   No Glow Worms recorded   MD.
June 14th   Wellow Park   SK686672   Deciduous woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 17th   Fanny's Grove   SK610709   Former picnic site   0   Surveyed for second time   TP. DP.
June 17th   Budby Carr   SK607705   Mixed woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 17th   Gibraltar Plantation   SK605723   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 17th   Welbeck Estate   SK609723   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 20th   Hanger Hill Plantation   SK601695   Coniferous plantation   0   Surveyed early and late evening   TP. DP.
June 20th   Budby Pumping Station   SK604704   Woodland edge   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 20th   Boundary Plantation   SK602699   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 20th   Watchwood Plantation   SK594506   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   MD.
June 22nd   NWT Reserve, Gorsethorpe   SK595653   Meadowland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 23rd   Hanger Hill Plantation   SK601695   Coniferous plantation   0   Surveyed for third time   TP. DP.
June 25th   Lambley Dumbles   SK618449   Woodland and field edge   0   No Glow Worms recorded   MD.
June 26th   Worksop Road   SK635684   Deciduous woodland   1   Single female found in brief search   TP. DP.
June 29th   Budby South Forest   SK627688   Heathland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 29th   Swinecote Road, Budby   SK627688   Grass verge   3   Three females present at the junction of the A616 and the B6034   TP. DP.
June 29th   Budby South Forest   SK621693   Heathland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
June 29th   Thorseby Estate   SK622693   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 4th   Oakmere Park, Oxton   SK612532   Golf course   0   No Glow Worms recorded   MD.
July 11th   Colwick Woods   SK602398   Deciduous woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   MD.
July 17th   Colwick Woods   SK602398   Deciduous woodland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   MD.
July 17th   Clumber Park   SK614792   Grass verge/woodland   2   Two females 90 metres apart. This is a new Glow Worm site for Clumber Park   LD.
July 20th   Sherwood Forest CP   SK613684   Ancient woodland   1   A single female recorded from this known site. The first since two in 2009.   TP. DP.
July 21st   Sherwood Forest CP   SK625681   Woodland/grass heath   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. MD.
July 21st   Sherwood Heath   SK647675   Heathland   1   Single female   TP. MD.
July 22nd   Hills and Holes   SK557681   Former quarry/grassland   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 26th   Rough Piece   SK594671   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
July 26th   Bradmer Hill   SK558667   Coniferous plantation   0   No Glow Worms recorded   TP. DP.
August 17th   Whitewater Lane, Walesby   SK663702   Grassy heathland   0   No late adults or larvae   TP. DP.
August 17th   Sherwood Heath   SK647675   Heathland   0   No late adults or larvae   TP. DP.
August 17th   Swinecote Road, Budby   SK627688   Grass verge   4   Four larvae   TP. DP.
                         
.Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey supporters
.The following organisations have supported the Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey
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Disclaimer:- The NGWS is not responsible for matters regarding personal safety, vehicles left unattended at remote sites, or any form of tresspass on private sites, whilst conducting any Glow Worm surveys.
     
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