Our History

Buglife History

  • The decade before Buglife

    The conservation movement grew during the 1990s, but there was no organisation specialising in invertebrates. This was brought sharply into focus by the creation of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan in 1994, when no organisation existed to fly the flag for invertebrates – to make sure their conservation needs were being looked after. A Feasibility Committee was established to look at the details of setting up an invertebrate conservation body, and ‘A Statement of Need for a New Organisation was produced. Twenty of the leading conservation organisations (including the RSPB and Wildlife Trusts) acknowledged that the conservation movement lacked a major spokesman for invertebrate conservation, and welcomed the establishment of one.

  • 2000

    December The Invertebrate Conservation Trust registered as a company. The first body to bring together and represent everything concerning invertebrates.

  • 2002

    • February First staff member employed, matt Shardlow currently Chief Executive.
    • May name changed to Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust.
  • 2003

    • Under threat Canvey Wick site championed by Buglife as an area of high importance for invertebrates.
    • Buglife challenges the Ragwort Bill which aims to eradicate Ragwort – the exclusive home of 30 bug species, leading to Defra amending draft Bill so that it no longer authorises the eradication of Ragwort.
    • Public launch of Buglife.
    • Managing Priority Habitats for Invertebrates CD released and highlighted in House of Commons by the environment minister as a best practice guide it is used widely by land managers to improve the management of invertebrate habitats.
    • Campaign launched to save Aucheninnes Moss{link} in Scotland with 31% of MSPs sign up to Buglife’s motion asking calling for it to be saved from destruction.
    • Ragwort Code produced containing bug friendly measures.
    • Canvey Wick designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest specifically for its invertebrates.
    • Sale of Cypermethrin for use as a sheep dip suspended following a long Buglife campaign. Billions of mayflies, shrimps, and other freshwater animals saved from death, rivers kept healthy for fish and people.
    • Wording inserted in draft Clean Neighbourhoods Act to ensure that insects in the countryside are safe from being declared a public nuisance following Buglife pressure.
    • Buglife complete ground breaking survey of English & Scottish Exposed Riverine Sediments for rare & threatened beetle and fly species.
    • Buglife meet Prime Minister Blair as part of campaign to save West Thurrock Marshes.
    • February Buglife establishes office and officer in Scotland.
    • New UKBAP Priority list produced including 431 invertebrate species and ‘Open Mosaic Habitats on Previously Developed Land’.
    • Buglife bumblebee survey project sees over 500 people trained to identify bumblebees at workshops in Essex and London.
    • ‘Managing Coastal Soft Cliffs for Invertebrates’ project completed.
    • Buglife takes protection of biodiversity on West Thurrock Marshes to the High Court, but application to revoke planning permission is dismissed.
    • Bringing Aggregates Sites to Life – best practice habitat management guide produced.
    • Buglife campaign results in protection for wild populations of Roman snail, to supply the restaurant trade.
    • ‘All of a Buzz in the Thames Gateway’ project completes mapping of 576 brownfield sites in London and the Thames Gateway 55% of area shown to have high biodiversity potential.
    • Buglife undertake a survey of invertebrates on South Georgia first project on a UK Overseas Territory.
    • Scottish National Heritage and Buglife publish ’A Strategy for Scottish Invertebrate Conservation’ the first National Strategy for Invertebrate Conservation in Europe.
    • Buglife awarded the Conservation Award in the National Observer Ethical Awards for our ‘Fighting to Save West Thurrock Marshes’ campaign.
    • Buglife presents ‘The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on bumblebees, Honey bees and other non-target invertebrates’ to Number 10, Downing Street. A number of scientists are motivated by our report to investigate the impacts of Neonicotinoids on pollinators.
    • Buglife pressure leads to invertebrates protected by Marine Act
    • Aucheninnes Moss saved from being turned into a landfill site, the last site in Scotland for the Bog bush cricket and Sorrel pygmy moth.
    • Planning for Brownfield Biodiversity report produced.
    • Wildlife destroying sheep dip (Cypermethrin) finally withdrawn globally, billions of mayflies, shrimps, and other freshwater animals safe from death.
    • Conservation Regulations amended to make the selling of EU protected species in the UK illegal after Buglife identified a loophole in the legislation in 2003 – traders were using the UK as a base to sell animal specimens that had been caught illegally on the continent.
    • Translocation of threatened White-clawed crayfish to save havens (Ark-sites).
    • Buglife complete a project on ‘The ecological status of ditch systems’. Surveying over five hundred ditches in the most important coastal grazing marsh areas of Wales and England.
    • ‘A Review of the Impact of Artificial Light on Invertebrates’ report produced.
    • Buglife launch national ‘Oil Beetle Hunt’.
    • Buglife launch the ‘Get Britain Buzzing’ campaign. Aiming to get people to take action to help conserve pollinators. Also launching ‘B-Lines’ with a Yorkshire pilot project to create wildflower meadows across the landscape in a linear network.
    • Buglife influences development of the National Planning Policy Framework, helping to block a move to insert a develop ‘brownfield first’ policy.
    • Following Buglife and Conchological Society campaign three Special Areas of Conservation designated for the Little whirlpool ramshorn snail
    • Buglife Scotland launch Marvellous Minibeasts Education Pack for children aged 8 to 11 years.
    • Buglife opens South West office in Plymouth.
    • Buglife produce guidance on ‘Creating Living Roofs for Invertebrates’.
    • Buglife hold first ever Conference on Management of Brownfield sites for wildlife, attended by 100 delegates -entomologists, planners, councils, academics etc.
    • Buglife establishes first project in Wales – on brownfield sites.
    • EU impose a two-year restriction on neonicotinoids – and the UK cannot opt out.
    • Buglife get first bug reserve – Canvey Wick Nature Reserve  sharing management  with RSPB and Land Trust
    • Ground-breaking State of Nature Report launched on the International Day for Biological Diversity. Stock take by 25 wildlife organisations, reveals that 2 out of 3 insects are declining.
    • First Buglife project on Isle of Man – Soft Rock Survey.
    •  ‘All of a Buzz in the Thames Gateway’ report revisited – over a six-year period 51% of nearly 200 important brownfield sites have been lost, damaged or are in immediate threat.
    • Report produced by the Environmental Funders Network shows that sector gives Buglife the highest impact per pound of any independent environmental charity, twice as high as the next such charity.
    • New strategy launched “Bugs United” focus on pollinators and freshwater life.
    • Buglife launches Pollinator Manifesto in the House of Commons.
    • Campaign and petition persuades Ebay to remove illegal insecticides.
    • The Tansy beetle was reintroduced to Wicken Fen, Ladybird spider introduced to site managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust, and a new Ark site established for White-clawed crayfish from the River Allen
    • Buglife surveys re-discover the Pashford pot beetle and Royal splinter cranefly, both considered potentially extinct.
    • Great British Bee Count launched with Friends of the Earth and B&Q, accruing 800,000 records of Bees from 23,000 people.
    • Syngenta and NFU’s application to the Government for a ban busting derogation withdrawn after Buglife and 38-Degrees petition raised over 200,000 signatures in just a few days.
    • The first National Bug Reserve at Canvey Wick officially opened by our Vice President Steve Backshall.
    • First invertebrate identification guide for St Helena produced as part of project on the island.
    • BBC Wildlife Magazine Wildlife Power List includes our CEO Matt Shardlow (at number 13) and our Vice-President Steve Backshall (at 11)
    • First Welsh population of the Blue ground beetle discovered by Buglife.
    • Bordered brown lacewing (Megalomus hirtus) rediscovered on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.  It had not been seen in the UK for over 25 years and it was feared that it had been wiped out by fires.
    • Planning application on Radford quarry refused following 10,000 people signing Buglife petition to save the Horrid ground weaver
    • New wild colonies of the Wart-biter cricket and Ladybird spider established.
    • Buglife’s Freshwater Strategy launched on World Rivers Day, outlining eight principles to securing populations of freshwater invertebrates and their habitats.
    • Fannyside Muir: Restoration project on degraded peat bog in the Central Belt of Scotland underway, 1000 dams installed on of the bog. Leading to 100ha of peatland rewetted and recovering
    • Oral evidence given to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, on the ethics of genetically modified insects and their potential impact upon the environment.
    • Urban Buzz project launched in Birmingham. A £1 million pollinator conservation project chiefly funded by Biffa Awards that will create 800 pollinator hotspots across eight cities.
    • Buglife attends EU Conference on Habitats Directive and proposes an EU Pollinator Initiative.
    • Completed West Glamorgan Stepping Stones project on coalfields in South Wales.
    • 43ha of habitat restored and enhanced providing refuges for wildlife and recreation, linked to area’s industrial history.
    • Horrid groundweaver discovered on new site in Plymouth and world’s first photos and videos of the animal taken.
    • New campaign on biosecurity within the pot plant trade as arrival of the Obama worm in a pot plant highlights poor pot plants importation biosecurity.
    • B-Lines mapping completed along Eastern side of England with funding from Anglian Water and Natural England. Scheme awarded the European Bee Award by the European Landowners Organisation.
    • NFU and Buglife raise concerns that the National Pollinator Strategy may fail due to a lack of commitment to a new national pollinator monitoring scheme leading to Government funding.
    • State of Nature 2nd report launched. Showed that nearly 60% of invertebrate species are declining , higher than other taxonomic groups.
    • Established first Buglife presence in Northern Ireland
    • Species Champions initiatives now established in Scotland Wales and England. -In Scotland there five MSPs are Species Champions for invertebrates: the Bog sun-jumper spider, the Bordered lacewing, the Northern red stonefly, the Red mason bee and the Freshwater pearl mussel. In England 4 MPs are Champions for invertebrate species: the Long-horned mining bee, Tansy beetle, Horrid ground-weaver and Violet click-beetle. In Wales we secured our first species AM champion of the Black oil beetle.
    • Buglife Scotland’s 10th Anniversary marked by a motion in the Scottish Parliament.
    • Back from the Brink Project initiated – £7million joint project to save species with Natural England, the RSPB, Plantlife, Butterfly Conservation, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and Bat Conservation.