Glasgow City Council find 59 new plants and insect species in the city including rare plant and insect

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A type of spider named 'Cryptachaea blattea' was also found at the Necropolis. This is only the second time it has been recorded in Scotland.

Fifty-nine new species of plants and insects were recorded in Glasgow last year.

Amongst those a rare plant and a 'notable' caddisfly were included in nearly 60 species recorded at sites across the city in 2023 - fuelling hope that urban biodiversity is increasing due to more nature-friendly land management.

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Discoveries of species which are new to the city are encouraging signs that nature is being attracted by the council's habitat creation and protection - including the designation of more 'Local Nature Reserves.'

Glasgow City Council declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency in May 2019 and made protecting and enhancing biodiversity key actions in the city's Climate Plan. It also worked with partners from 16 environmental organisations to create Glasgow's Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP).

Wildflower and tree planting and nature restoration are central to the plan. Last year, council staff planted 250,00 daffodils, 22,260 small bulbs and 16,500 wildflower plugs in locations including the central reservation on Great Western Road.

Nine new and expanded Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) were also created - bringing  the total number of LNRs in the city to 17. The newly designated LNR areas alone cover 82 hectares of land. And 18 million trees and hedges are also being planted across Glasgow City Region to create new woodland and wildlife habitats by 2030.

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The council's Net Zero Committee today heard that one of the new species found in the city was Yellow Bird's-nest, a parasitic plant classed as rare in Scotland. It was recorded on a railway embankment in Partickhill.

A species of caddisfly named Hydropsyche contubernaliswas also found in moth traps at the Botanic Gardens and Hamiltonhill Local Nature Reserve.It is classed as 'notable' in Scotland

Other new species found in the city included:-

  • The Orache moth, which was found at the Hamiltonhill Claypits Local Nature Reserve. This is the only place it has been recorded in Scotland.
  • A fungi called Haw Goblet which was found at Hamiltonhill Claypits by a visiting mycologist (someone who studies fungi)
  • A shiny green beetle named Oedemera lurida was also recorded. There are few other recorded sightings of it in Scotland
  • A type of spider named Cryptachaea blattea was also found at the Necropolis. This is only the second time it has been recorded in Scotland.

Councillor Angus Millar, Glasgow's Convener for Climate, said: "The discovery of 59 new species in the city and River Clyde catchment area is really exciting and significant news. It proves that environmental work being done by the council in the city is assisting nature's recovery and attract a wider array of insects and other wildlife. Planting wildflowers and trees and managing grassland better for pollinators and other insects produces a ripple effect. It also benefits the birds and small mammals which feed on them.

"Greening up the city also helps people by reducing the impact of global warming. Trees help reduce air pollution and flooding while also providing shade in hotter summers. Being surrounded by nature is good for our physical and mental wellbeing and it is also visually appealing. The sight of spring bulbs beginning to bloom in the city is definitely uplifting after the cold and wet winter!"

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Species data reported to the committee is from Glasgow Museums Biological Records Centre's database. The main sources of information for the database are the Scottish Ornithologists' Club (SOC)/Birdtrack, National Moth Recording Scheme, iRecord/iNaturalist and local naturalists, including the council's Countryside Rangers.

Glasgow Museums encourage people to send in records of the plants and animals they see in the city - not just rare ones! Records of common species are just as valuable and help experts understand the health of wildlife in Glasgow. More information can be found at biological records centre

The committee was told that the council's Countryside Rangers made almost 50 school visits last year to talk to pupils about the environment and urban nature. Almost 1500 pupils visited nine city parks on excursions and almost 700 people took part in four Countryside Ranger-led events.

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