How you can help noble chafer beetles
There are lots of things you can do to help save this threatened beetle
Tips for noble chafer-friendly orchard management
If you are lucky enough to find evidence of the noble chafer in your orchard, follow these steps to ensure the beetles continue to thrive, or pass them onto the orchard owners:
- Take care when pruning and leave thick branches alone as these may contain noble chafer larvae.
- Encroaching scrub should be controlled around trees that are known, or suspected, to have noble chafer within them as increased shading may cool the trunk which in turn may affect the development of the larvae.
- Fallen trees should be left undisturbed as they may contain developing noble chafer larvae. Where they need to be moved for access, move them to the side of the orchard where they can continue to support deadwood invertebrates and fungi.
- Aim for an organic approach to the management of your orchard. Pesticides may poison noble chafer and fertilisers may compromise tree health through impacts on fungal mycorrhizae which have many benefits to trees.
- Planting new trees will maintain a diverse age structure and ensure the continued presence of wood-decay habitats and future habitat for the noble chafer.
- An active management programme is beneficial to orchard wildlife in maintaining the open structure which favours noble chafer and other key species.
Take part in our new noble chafer survey
We have joined forces with Royal Holloway University of London to launch a new national beetle survey, in order to conserve the beautiful but threatened noble chafer beetle. PTES and Royal Holloway are looking for volunteers to look for noble chafers over a two-week period in June, to find out where they are still living in the UK, allowing conservationists to help save them from extinction. Read more and sign up here.
You can also report a one off sighting and get further advice here.