Investigating Insects

One of the best things about insects is that they occur absolutely everywhere, and anyone can study them. The closer you look the more amazed you will be. Here are some ways to get closer to our six-legged friends. Please make sure to return any insects you catch to where you found them.

Discovering Insects through tree shaking

You will need:

A white or light-coloured sheet .

Some tubs or other containers for your mini beasts ( yogurt pots work well).

A small soft paintbrush.

A magnifying glass or mini beast viewer can be useful.

An Identification sheet or book on insects will help you learn more.

How to do it:

Find a tree or bush with low hanging branches.

Lay your sheet underneath

Shake the branches, but don’t use too much force. You don’t want to damage the tree.

Once the mini beasts have dropped onto the sheet, you can collect them using the pots and use the paintbrush to encourage them in. Be very gentle so that you don’t hurt the creatures you are observing.

Once you have had a closer look – always put the insects back where you found them.

Using an identification sheet can help you work out what you have.

Why not write down your findings. You will find different things depending on the tree species and the time of year, but it’s best to do this on a dry day.

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