We want your insect images!
In a bid to cast aside any thoughts of them being simply creepy or crawly the North Pennines AONB Partnership is appealing for close-up photographs which show the beauty of bugs and butterflies to celebrate National Insect Week later this month.
As well as collecting data of what species are making their home in the area, the Partnership, through its Cold-blooded and Spineless project, is hoping to put together visual documentation of invertebrates to show just how stunning insects are.
The Most Amazing Creatures
Samantha Tranter, who heads up the project, said: “With their gossamer-like wings and amazing colours these really are some of the most amazing creatures we have in the UK. From a distance you may not get to see just how intricately patterned our bugs are but when you get a closer look you can see that there is no reason to squirm at these small but perfectly formed mini beasts.”
Cold-blooded and Spineless is a five-year project that has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Northumbrian Water. Now in its second year, Samantha said they have already started to understand more about insects.
“This project follows on from Wildwatch, where we galvanised people from across the North Pennines tell us what mammals and birds they saw when they were out and about. We were so lucky with the amount of volunteers we got but when we changed the subject of study from feathery and furry to scaly and slimy we thought we mightn’t attract as many willing recorders. Well, we needn’t have worried as we’ve has so many people wanting to help,” said Samantha.
“Invertebrates, which are basically creatures without a backbone, are incredibly important to our lives as well as our landscapes. They pollinate fruit and vegetables, enrich our soils, provide a food source for birds and fish but because they are so small, we rarely notice or appreciate them.”
By gathering photography taken in the area Samantha hopes to dispel any myths that insects are unattractive, while also educating people on their importance in our lives.
Help To Identify Our Insects
She said: “The photographs need to fairly clear, so we can identify the species and look at the anatomy. We need to know when and where they were taken but we aren’t expecting these to come from professionals, we want everyone to get involved. Young and old, experts and amateurs.”
A Chance To Enhance Your Skills
Observations of invertebrates and other wildlife can be shared via the Partnership’s online recording system, WildWatch, with photographs. And for those who want to enhance their photography skills the AONB Partnership will be running a day-long course, specialising in taking close-ups of insects, in July at Stanhope Methodist Church Hall and the nearby Ashes Quarry, a haven for wildlife.
David Noble-Rollin, who has provided photography courses for the Natural History Society of Northumbria, will be running the one-day workshop to help wildlife enthusiasts capture images of insects, using live subjects and getting people out in the field to practice techniques.
To book a place on the course on Saturday, July 2nd call 01388 528801
Released: 02 June 2016