Welcome to Wild In Britain, an occasional and irregular photo journal of my encounters with all types of wildlife in the British Isles. All species featured on the site are wild, and all photographs are the copyright of Ben Locke. For prints and licensing click here. Please also take a look at my main site BenLocke.co.uk
'The Herald' moth, in the Forest of Dean last night. This colourful moth overwinters as an adult, and as a result, can be one of the last species to be seen in one year, and one of the first in the next. It is also sometimes found hibernating inside barns and outbuildings.
This Pearl-bordered Fritillary was photographed back in May this year. They are found in isolated colonies in recently coppiced or felled areas of woodland. Once considered common and widespread, the Pearl-bordered Fritillary is now one of our most-threatened species. The cessation of coppicing which resulted in the loss of suitable habitat is believed to be one of the major causes of this drastic decline. It is the earliest of our fritillaries to emerge.
A Hazel Dormouse in the Forest of Dean photographed back in September. Dormice feed high up in the trees on a variety of food. They eat flowers and pollen during the spring, fruit in summer and nuts, particularly hazel nuts, in autumn. It is thought that insects are taken too. This variety of food must be available within a small area, a requirement which limits the suitability of some sites for dormice.
The European Cave Spider lives exclusively in dark and damp places, such as caves, mines, sewers, etc. I found this particular one in a cave in the Forest of Dean. It feeds on hibernating moths and butterflies, millipedes and slugs, etc. A few egg sacks were also suspended from the cave ceiling. Although they are photophobic, they will emerge from their caves around dusk to hunt.
A male Wild Boar in the Forest of Dean. This was photographed a couple of years ago, and we haven't really had a decent fall of snow since, so I'm hoping for more this winter. The snow doesn't really hinder the Wild Boar in their search for food, and they certainly endure colder and more harsh conditions in other countries. In fact, rooting in the snow also has the added benefit of exposing food to birds that would otherwise be unable to reach it. A Robin can be seen in this photo waiting for the boar to move along, but in fact there were 5 or 6 Robins following this boar around the woods.