A rare cricket found in Fenland will be protected thanks to improvements by the Environment Agency.
The great green bush cricket has been found in “abundance” on the flood banks of the Old Bedford River on the Ouse Washes, thought to be one of only two populations of the insect in Cambridgeshire and the most northerly in Britain.
It is thought there are no more than 50 singing males in each of the two populations, due to loss of habitat. The Environment Agency plans to put up fences to protect the crickets from grazing cattle.
The fencing will be erected to protect the species in the Ouse Washes, which has also recently benefited from the organisation’s investment in desilting, repairing and maintaining stretches of river and flood banks.
Julia Massey, Biodiversity Officer for the Environment Agency said, “The great green bush cricket is the largest and noisiest cricket in the UK.
“These crickets particularly like the long grass growing on the flood banks, they like to make their homes in the tops of the grasses approximately 30cm off the ground.
“The conditions here are perfect for them. We are erecting fences to keep grazing cattle away and allow them a safe place to live and breed.
“Great green bush crickets aren’t protected by any EU directives or Biodiversity Action Plans but they are of significant interest in the world of biodiversity. Having this species is a real feather in the cap for Cambridgeshire, and they are obviously something we would like to protect.”
The Environment Agency has a key role in conservation and ecology. Habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and disturbance to ecosystems are all key challenges to maintaining biodiversity and reducing the risk to protected species.
To find out more about the work the Environment Agency does to create a better place visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk
To find out more about maintenance and other works planned for the Ouse Washes visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/109548.aspx. You can get a description of when and what maintenance activities we may undertaken near you, the list is searchable by postcode.