1. Retain stumps
The SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ACTION to help stag beetles is to keep stumps in place when trees or woody shrubs die or are cut down. This provides essential decaying wood underground for stag beetles to eat for years to come.
2. Build a log pyramid
If you don’t already have stumps or mature trees and shrubs, you can provide a home for stag beetles by building a log pyramid. Bury broadleaved logs upright in the soil with up to 50cm under the ground. You can find more detailed instructions here.
3. Make an escape route from ponds
This is not just important for stag beetles – all animals need a way out of ponds. If you’re just planning your pond, ensure it has some shallow edges. If you already have a pond, a well-placed pile of stones or a log will help them climb out.
4. Cover water butts
Stag beetles can drown in water butts. If you do find one in a water butt, take it out, they can often survive for a while, and will fly off after drying out.
5. Minimise use of weed matting
It can trap beetles underground. Use wood chip or bark instead to supress weeds (and provide habitat for stag beetles!)
6. Leave a wild corner
Great for so many species, leaving a small patch of your garden to go wild provides an undisturbed space where invertebrates and small mammals can shelter, nest or feed.
7. Don’t use chemicals
Pesticides and insecticides can be toxic to non-target species – it’s best not to use them.
8. Be careful when digging
Stag beetle larvae live underground. If you do dig some up, please re-bury them straight away with as much of the surrounding dead wood and soil as possible.
9. Tell us about stag beetles, and get sharing
Record your sightings for our annual Great Stag Hunt or go one-step further to help stag beetles and carry out a weekly garden stag beetle survey. You can also share your pics and join in more fun on our social channels using #GreatStagHunt.