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This week is National Insect Week (23rd – 29th June), so what better time to take the kids out into the forest for a bug hunt!

A bee hawkmothLove them or loathe them, there’s no denying insects are an essential part of the forest’s ecosystem. Creepy crawlies are fascinating little critters to study, and our understanding of them is important for conservation, medicine, ecology and food production.

For intrepid bug enthusiasts, Scotland’s forests provide a rich playground to explore. Did you know there are 24,000 species of insect in the UK alone?

Play insect bingo

Before you head out to the forest, make a list of what insects you think you might see. Some of the most common beasties you’re likely to encounter in the woods are;

  • Ladybird
  • Beetle
  • Bee
  • Wasp
  • Butterfly
  • Moth
  • Dragonfly
  • Ant
  • Fly
  • Earwig
  • Shield bug

See if you can spot them all! Remember to look under logs (but always put them back), on leaves and on and around trees.

Say hello to the bees

Getting up close and personal with bees is something that should usually be avoided. Luckily, we’ve teamed up with the Scottish Beekeepers Association to create a demonstration bee hive at Glentress, just south of Edinburgh. At the hive you can watch the busy workers go about their everyday duties from behind the safety of glass. Take a closer look – their delicate wings and furry bodies really are quite fascinating.

Find our more about visiting Glentress.

Join us on a bug hunt

An orange tipped butterflyThis Saturday (21st June) at The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre we’re going on a bug hunt and we think you should come too...
It’s going to be a fun and educational family day out, and we’re going to be catching bugs, playing games and even making our very own bugs to take home.
For more information give us a call on 01877 382258 or visit The Lodge webpage.

If you can’t make it, we’ve got more events planned for later in the summer too. Check out our Beautiful Bugs, Butterflies and Beasties events at The Bin and Scolty forests.

Good luck, bug hunters!


(photography by Colin Leslie)