Insects and other Invertebrates

Abbey Fields has many different habitats including the brooks and lake, the meadows, the hedges and hedgerows, the trees, buildings and other man made structures. In addition it is surrounded by houses and gardens. These different habitats provide suitable environments for a multitude of plants, birds, animals and insects.

2021 Survey

In 2021 Friends of Abbey Fields asked one of the UK’s leading experts on the subject of invertebrates and insects to survey Abbey Fields. Our intent was that he would conduct his survey during the year and provide a report which would detail what he was able to find.

Steven Falk worked during 2021 to collect his information. If you were in Abbey Fields at that time you may well have seen him catching insects with his large white net!

You can see his full report here. The supporting raw data is available as a spreadsheet here.


The variety of habitats in Abbey Fields makes it an excellent breeding ground butterflies.

In recent years, members of Friends of Abbey Fields have spent time each year observing butterflies and recording their sightings. Their reports appear in the FOAF newsletter and they also share their findings with Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire. A recent report is shown below.

Butterfly Report 2023

During the summer of 2023, the fourth year of butterfly monitoring in Abbey Fields was completed. The effects of the previous year’s drought were not as bad as feared. The survey count was 192, just one short of the 2022 total. Meadow Browns were once again the most prolific species. Two other common brown butterflies had a contrasting season. Gatekeepers (a delightful butterfly which frequents hedges) did well, but Ringlets (the easily identifiable butterfly with hula hoop markings) had a poor year. These trends are reflected in national statistics. White butterflies fared well. There were improved numbers of large, small and green-veined white but sadly, no marbled whites were seen this year.

Red Admiral numbers increased slightly. In our own garden, we had frequent visits from Red Admirals in September and early October. An occasional one was seen in Abbey Fields too but this was after the end of the official monitoring season. A welcome addition to the species list was the Common Blue butterfly. Skipper numbers were down, and we had no sightings of the easily recognisable Peacock, Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies.

Butterflies need wild spaces to feed, breed and shelter. Butterfly Conservation (the national organisation for saving butterflies and moths) is encouraging everyone to create spaces for butterflies. Leaving a patch of long grass in your garden, planting a selection of nectar-rich plants, leaving cover for overwintering, being kind to the environment by going pesticide and peat free… we can all make a difference!

Jenny Green

See Also


Friends of Abbey Fields host a “Moth Evening” once a year in the summer – an opportunity to learn from experts and to harmlessly trap and identify several varieties of moths. Celia Rickers reports that on one such evening, the County Moth Recorder, David Brown set up two moth traps, powered by a generator, roughly one hundred metres apart. As darkness descended the amount of moths coming to the traps increased. Among the macro moths seen were Large Yellow, Underwing and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, both these moths employ the defensive mechanism of startling any possible predators with suddenly revealing their bright hindwings, which are in contrast to their forewings. A dainty moth Sandy Carpet, whose caterpillar feeds on the flowers and ripening seeds of the Red Campion and Common Carpet whose caterpillar feeds on bedstraws were also in evidence. A Dingy Footman landed on someone’s trouser leg, its caterpillar feeds on lichens and algae growing on trees and bushes. A moth which always rests with its wings closed Dingy Shell arrived in the trap, as did Common Rustic, Small Rivulet, Small Fan-foot and Smoky Wainscot. A Flame Shoulder, aptly named as it has a bright straw-coloured band along its forewings was one of the later moths to arrive. The evening passed quickly due to the interest generated by David Brown and we look forward to him coming next year.

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