Mind where you tread.

It is now two years since the Exmoor ponies arrived as residents of the CP, to be joined by the White Parks and then the Belted Galloways. It is easy to see the effect that their residency and grazing is having in various areas above Warren Glen, but a less visible benefit is doing remarkably well. The output from their grazing has provided a welcome opportunity for Dung Beetles to enrich the insect fauna of the CP. Initial investigations have identified ten species, which in their turn provide a great amount of food for bats and birds and also work the soil and enrich it as manure is buried. Species found thus far are: Aphodius fimetarius, Aphodius fossor, Aphodius haemorrhoidalis, Aphodius rufipes, Aphodius rufus, Cercyon haemorrhoidalis, Cercyon pygmaeus, Hister unicolor, Onthophagus medius, Onthophagus similis, Sphaeridium scarabaeoides – alas no common names as their study is not exactly a mainstream pastime. Reference to the National Biodiversity Network database would suggest that most of these species are new to the CP and several seem to be new to the county.

Aphodius fimetariusOnthophagus medius

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