Dung Beetle Safari at Ramstile Farm

At the start of June Amy and Graham hosted the cluster at Ramstile Farm. The plan was to search for dung beetles in their low input pasture. We were joined by beetle expert Tony Witts, local farm vet Alex Walters and PFLA Chair, Fidelity Weston.

Cluster members poked around in a lot of cow pats and sheep dung, as well as digging down and looking at the soil structure below! The dung beetles we discovered in both cow and sheep dung on the farm included: Onthophagus medius, Otophorus haemorrhoidalis, Teuchestes fossor and Esymus pusillus.

Alex Walters of Fairview Farm Vets talked about monitoring worm burden to inform the right treatments at the right times. This will reduce the negative effect many of the wormers can have on beneficials like dung beetles. Faecal egg counts of certain parasitic worms can be done at home with the right kit, or a vet lab will do this for you.

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