You’ve found a… stag beetle!

Male stag beetle. Photo by Jason Sylvan.

The European Stag Beetle is one of the biggest beetles in Europe and if you see one you are very lucky as they have become quite rare. If you find one, you can report your sighting to The Great Stag Hunt. Find more great stag beetle facts on Bug Life UK.

In the Old Pond Garden we found some stag beetle larvae (which can be up to 11cm long!) in a rotting tree stump. The larvae feed on rotting wood and take several YEARS to reach adulthood, so we carefully used the old wood, with the larvae, to start our log pile and made sure they weren’t disturbed again.

Watch this video to see just how big they are! It also gives tips on how to create areas in your garden where stag beetles can live and breed.

Find all the Bugs in the Old Pond Garden (there are ten altogether), put the letters together and find the final Bug!
If you spot any real live bugs / creatures / insects in the Old Pond Garden today, try to take a photograph and find out what it is. We’d love to see it, so if you post on Instagram you can tag us: @cabahs_hortisoc and use the hashtag #BugsInTheBeds

This page is part of the ‘Bugs in the Beds’ trail running on the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, on 21st May 2023.