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Roots to Shoots Project

The Roots to Shoots project ran from 2015 -2017 and reached communities, school groups and others across Scotland to raise awareness about the importance of our woodland invertebrates.

Ancient woodland is one of the most iconic and diverse habitats to be found in Scotland. Our woodlands have a rich diversity of invertebrates, such as wood ants, pine hoverfly and longhorn beetles that interact for the benefit of each other and the woodland itself. Woodlands (and their invertebrates) are important for us too, as they do jobs such as locking up greenhouse gases, flood management, enhancing biodiversity and providing an important place for human recreation and sources of employment.

Narrow-headed ant (Formica exsecta) (c) BSCG

Narrow-headed ant (Formica exsecta) (c) BSCG

Across Scotland, there has been a decline in ancient and native woodland. Many species, such as the Narrow-headed ant (Formica exsecta) that are supported by these habitats have experienced significant declines in their population. Unfortunately for the Narrow headed ant, this species is now classed as endangered and is considered a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) species.

A total of 2,584 people were reached during the course of the project involving community groups, organisations and schools. We reached 600 people through 23 guided invertebrate walks and 598 people through talks. We also worked with 656 school pupils at 30 school events and ran 14 training workshops! It was a very busy year for Buglife Scotland and was wonderful reaching so many individuals.

Volunteers find many wood ant nests in Aberfoyle.

Roots to Shoots was funded and supported by the Scottish Natural Heritage

Check out our new Nest Quest Wildlife Survey. Can you help us find Scotland's largest and smallest Wood Ant nests? 

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