This is the largest of all animal groups but not often seen as many are very tiny. They have a vital role in pollinating plants, decomposing organic matter and as prey to a multitude of birds, amphibians and mammals.
Insects that have been seen on the Bilberry include Soldier Beetles, Nursery Spiders, Crickets, Grasshoppers, Ladybirds and Bees. It is just the place for children to have a “bug hunt” in the summer. If you just sit quietly on a bench by the heathland and listen, you will be able to hear and see many insects around you.
Butterflies and Moths
The top of the park has been monitored by Butterfly Conservation and Bradford Urban Wildlife group for several years. Butterflies are attracted by the large area of bilberry and heather as well as the bracken and oaks.
The bilberry is the food plant of the Green Hairstreak butterfly which was recorded here for several years. Sadly it has become scarce in the last few years, probably due to two very cold winters preceding 2012 and an arctic spring in 2013. Please look out for this elusive butterfly between April and June. Female Emperor moths have also been recorded on the Bilberry,using it as a food source.
The heather attracts butterflies for its nectar. Small Copper, Holly Blue, Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, Comma and Red Admirals have all been recorded. There are several species of brown butterflies which use the grasses as their food plant, Ringlet, Meadow Brown and the most common Speckled Wood. You might see the Speckled Wood, that are brown with creamy yellow patches, flying around the oaks, April to September. The Purple Hairstreak uses the oak but is very elusive, spending most of its time at the top of the oaks. During May there are many Long Horned Moths. These are micro moths that shine silver in the sun. Moth caterpillars are an important food for birds and their young.
Photos of butterflies and moths Damselflies and Dragonflies have also been seen at the bottom of the park in the summer, attracted by the water and boggy areas.