Rare beetle to get new champions

Tuesday 2nd June 2015

Found along the banks of the Ouse in York, the rare Tansy Beetle (Chrysolina graminis) has received another boost to its survival in the form of a dedicated Conservation Officer.  Buglife has received funding of £56,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as well as a donation from the Ernest Cook Trust to run the Tansy Beetle Champions project, which will help improve the beetle’s habitat and work with local people to save ‘The Jewel of York’. 

The Tansy Beetle is a beautiful, shiny green beetle that feeds on the Tansy plant.  Although the plant is quite common along the banks of the Ouse, the beetles are not great flyers making it difficult for them to get to new areas.  As a result they are now only found in a few small pockets in York which are prone to flooding, putting the insects at risk.

The new Tansy Beetle Conservation Officer Sophie Badrick said ‘It’s a very exciting project which is creating a huge amount of opportunities for people to get involved and become Tansy Beetle Champions.  We’re hoping to get people doing a range of different activities.  From growing tansy plants in your garden; to helping give guided walks; to getting out with Buglife to protect or improve existing habitat, there’s something for everyone.’

The 18 month project aims to get more people involved in helping the Tansy to thrive and expand its current range and will work closely with City of York Council and the long running Tansy Beetle Action Group

Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire and the Humber, Dr Fiona Spiers, said “Few people realise that every lottery ticket has the potential to save the UK’s landscapes, countryside and creatures, but bats are as important a part of our heritage as Botticelli. Imagine if future generations don’t have the chance to enjoy the sight of the Tansy Beetle because we didn’t do enough to save them now.”

Anyone keen to volunteer or find out more about the project should contact Sophie Badrick on [email protected] or 07880 316027

To find out more about adopting your own Tansy beetle, click here