Furzey Gardens, New Forest For this rare beetle to breed successfully, it needs thatch – preferably old – and herb-rich meadows within short flying distance

For an insect only 8mm in length, the scarlet malachite beetle is picky about where it will live. Location is everything. Though it has been seen in a few other places, it has only two strongholds, one in Essex and another in the New Forest, both very vulnerable.

That’s why I’m visiting Furzey Gardens near Minstead in Hampshire, where in the past it has been found in some numbers. It’s sunny, warm enough for folk to be having tea on the lawn. The buildings close by are thatched. The gardens range down the valley into an area of moist grassland, before crossing paddocks grazed by alpacas, donkeys and sheep, to more fields across the stream.

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Source: Guardian Environment