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On World Rewilding Day.. Why not try a spot of rebugging

We can all get rewilding this year.. Hope into action is the theme of World Rewilding Day and supporting rewilding organisations, with your time or money or power, to enhance local wild areas, is vital.. But you can also do a bit of rewilding by rebugging in your nearby spaces..

Fivespot ladybird overwintering in a nut shell.. Lucky no-one cleared it away…

Most of us don’t have large estates or farms to make wilder or rewild completely, with beavers or wolves😏. But many of us do have window ledges, gardens, yards, green verges, scrubby spaces and parks nearby. If we make these seriously nature friendly and diverse – we will be creating:

  • Critical green corridors allowing insects and other wildlife to travel across an area and find new places to live
  • Refuges for insects and birds to hide from predators or unfriendly environments
  • Places for a rest and to recover
  • Places for wild beings to find food – be it flowering plants for the bees and butterflies, seeds for the ants, or leaf litter for the worms and springtails…
  • Places to mate and to make nests for eggs, and for young to emerge safely. 

A bit of wildness can do so much. Research is showing just how important urban spaces and natural green corridors – like verges, bushes, trees and hedges – are. If the space is dull monoculture grass in soil that’s definitely better than concrete or tarmac👍. But they can be so much more and rebugging can even save you time and money.

What to do

For instance.. mowing the garden. Cut right back on that….just mow a bit.. Or not at all.. leaving the grass and flower seeds in the soil to grow into the great habitat they can be. And you save effort and money.. 

Try not to be neat. Be messy. Messy means diversity, it means habitats, it means resilience. Don’t plant rows of one plant, mix it up, multicrop your food plot. You get more food variety, more habitats fir bugs includung useful bugs lime pest predators, and it will confuse the pests you might want to avoid.

Leaving log piles, however small, can provide a fabulous food and home for beetle grubs, wood wasps, woodlice and much more.. Even a hedgehog if it’s in the right place.

Wildflower areas and flower bushes will mean food and shelter for moths, bees, beetles.. You could sow some native wildflower seeds on road verges or green space nearby. And then tell the council to mow at the right time so the flowers can grow and set seeds. The Wildlife Trusts , BugLife and other wildlife groups have loads of tips on gardening for nature. 

Ponds too, however small, can make a huge difference as watering holes for all and habitat for those laying eggs. Insects such as dragonflies and some hoverflies spend much of their life in freshwater as larvae… eating and getting fat. I made a teeny pond (from an old fridge drawer) and a wolf spider was seen drinking from it in no time. 

If you need tips there are loads of free resources, posters, and guides online. Your local wildlife trust will be running events here you can learn more, get involved on helping nature thrive locally. There are more ideas here and in my book too. And communities working together can share the load and build connections, friendships and more. A great new charity I’m a trustee of – Natural Neighbours – is working to support people who want their homes and workplaces to work in harmony to create wildlife-rich neighbourhoods. Worth supporting that aim!

Invertebrates, like fungi, are the glue that holds much of nature together. But habitat fragmentation – where they have to live in ever smaller islands surrounded by seas of concrete or monocultures – means they are stuck and populations stagnate. 

Give them a chance to move around, migrate, eat, rest, mate, nest, shelter and you are making a difference. On rewilding day that’s something to celebrate.

If you are a farmer or grower, well there is much you can do and the new invertebrate resources, such as on integrated pest management, from Nature Friendly Farming Network are great.

Finally another rebugging thing we need more of is to rebug attitudes.. Let someone, children especially, know how critical nature is.. how stunning bugs are and just how important making space for the smaller creatures is… on your doorstep.  Show them a beautiful photo of an invertebrate from your green space. Personally I find the nursery web spider as stunning as the wolf..

On World Rewilding Day 2024, with the theme #HopeIntoAction, I pray you too feel hopeful, planning some rebugging and sharing the love.

A beautiful Nursery Web Spider in a park near me..
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Children and bugs – a heady, joyful rebugging mix

I am surrounded by eager faces demanding invertebrate identifications. There is a big moth with red on dark grey markings. I panic as my brain freezes then suddenly recall five spotted burnet moths. *

Here is a gloriously green metallic thick thighed beetle and a plant hopper.. And a sawfly larvae.. a garden spider spiderling…I am just about keeping up.. Phew.

When I was asked by an old colleague, a few wintery months ago, to give a family bug talk in Oxford, it was an easy yes for me. Especially easy as they were including bug hunting activities in a heavenly wildlife spot. Thank you Helen and Low Carbon West Oxford, for the invite and all your magnificent work.

So, I arrive at a stunning, wildlife-filled, ex-cricket ground on my birthday as it happens. Very soon I am having an thrilling time opening a box of treasures – insect sampling kits the wonderful organisers had bought in advance: pooters, nets, even the latest Collins insect ID guide. Treats for me let alone the children.

And those children got the gist of the task so quickly. With their parents and carers, they were soon enthusiastically bug gathering. So enthusiastically that it became necessary to move them from the fabulous meadow into the equally fabulous orchard to ensure minimal wildlife disturbance. This was a nice problem to sort!

Skilled bug sampler with their pooter full of bugs! Credit Hugh Warwick

One sweep with the butterfly nets and a whole range of bugs were caught. Pooters are another gadget entirely – a special glass or plastic container with two tubes attached, one for you to suck in and one to put near small bugs you want to examine. There is a gauze on the sucking end, so you don’t get a mouthful of angry bug. I was astounded by quickly the young children grasped how to manage this gadget. I could not ID fast enough! (See photo above!).

We found spiders, butterflies, moths, plant bugs, hoppers, bush crickets, caterpillars, mayflies and so much more. The sun shone despite doom warnings of rain and thunder. Hedgehog and mammal expert, who also is a great photographer, Hugh Warwick, took photos of the day. It was a good birthday.

Hogacre Common was the 14-acre site for our bug revels and it’s a wonderful community wildlife reserve, created out of a gift of a sports ground and pavilion, by Corpus Christi College in 2011. Annual rent is a jar of honey from the plentiful hives now on the stream lined site. The community have already planted thousands of trees, maintained an orchard, started a fabulous food growing and training site, and created wild areas and meadows to explore. The gorgeous old pavilion is a cafe, using produce from the site.

Every village, borough, town, should have such a resource for wilding ourselves, learning about nature in nature, and having community events rooted in nature.

Rebugging the planet is as much about rebugging attitudes as anything. It’s the chapter in my book that folk often comment on. I feel attitudes are changing and if this day was anything to go by, we have some seriously top-notch bug ambassadors in Oxford. If you live in the area do sign up to the Hogacre newsletters and go to the events and café.

Credit Hugh Warwick

But we need more. Do spread the word. And if you need any more reminders about why I wrote Rebugging, have a watch of this wonderful film by Professor Dave Goulson, the BBC, and Studio Panda.

*I am now quite convinced it was a cinnabar moth😏. hey ho.

Credit Hugh Warwick

Latest news and blogs on rebugging Tips and Ideas

Rebugging with children

This blog is all about rebugging the planet with children. I look at why it’s fun, and also vital to get children rebugging in families and at school, and I’ve provided a list of activities you can start with and resources from great organisations.

Why get rebugging with children at home or in a school?

Children are a ready-made interested audience, finding invertebrates intriguing, ambiguous and they usually want to know more. Their tiny size and being so different to the cuddle pets they know… This creates huge opportunity for fun and learning.. It means any activities are likely to be interesting for them and you. Always a good start.

There are also so many ways to build children’s skills especially if you are out in nature. You could be counting legs or ants, drawing and creating, looking and observing, staying still. It will lead to questioning, telling stories, and all these help build children’s skills for the future. This article talks expertly about how bugs are a great way to teach kids about nature.

Worm on a fascinated 2 year old’s hand – start them rebugging early on Credit Ned Page

But another reason to get rebugging with kids is to ensure they understand them and to avoid putting the ‘fear’ into them about bugs. Too many children quickly pick up messages from their carers and elders. The message often is, frankly, that any old bug they see is dangerous, dirty, going to sting you, going to climb into your ear and so on.

You need to take care, obviously around wildlife.* But the vast majority of bugs are utterly harmless. And they are all a hugely valuable part of nature and our lives in so many way (read my book for more on that!).

Sadly children can quickly loose the fascination. It turns to fear, disgust or disinterest. We all need to avoid doing that and actively starting doing positive activities about bugs will help enormously.

Children are the generation that will need to put protection of invertebrates and all nature at the heart of their lives, habits, consumption, economies and, eventually, their politics. They are critical.

Schools can do so much and many do. I’ve heard over the past few year of wonderful schools and teachers putting learning about bugs into their school time, being so creative and using local resources and community and local business help. They are building bug friendly spaces in school grounds and gardens. Many have been liaising with local companies to get supplies of soil, wood, tools and seeds.

So I have a few ideas here but this is just a tiny sample to whet appetites.. I also list some great organisations with downloadable resources. And its worth reaching out to local authorities, green and nature groups and businesses for help and resources.

A few ideas for activities

  • A bug hunt – select a few ways you can spot bugs or the presence of bugs in an area. Then ask the children to go find them and write down what they saw and talk about it after. Bugs are sensitive so may not be in view with loud children around but often ants, spiders, worms, flies and other flying insects can be seen. Do tell the children to stay still and quiet for a while in one spot. They may be surprised at what they see.
  • Be a bug detective – on a bug hunt, they may just see the signs of bugs – such as the mines of a leaf miner bug in a grass blade, bush or tree leaf – the white lines that show a larvae has chewed through the middle layers of a leaf like the sandwich filling – you can even see their tiny poos. They larvae (maggots) will then form a hard pupae you can sport and feel and emerge later as an adult. Moths and flies do this and horse chestnut trees tend to often have mines but many other plants like dandelions. Another sign could be a hole ina leaf where a bee cutter has been at work, a spiders web, a slime trail of a snail or slug, a worm cast of soil in the grass, or some ladybird eggs under a leaf. The children can be detectives and search for bug clues.
  • Drawing bugs – gather some books on bugs and ideally find some in a green space near you.. and ask the children to draw them.. looking out for special features like colours, strange shapes, how many legs (6 on an insect, 8 on a spider and so on). They could invent their own bugs.
  • What do bugs need? – get the children to think about what the bugs may need (much like what we need) and how they get these things. You could start to look at features on bugs which they have found and which may show how they get these. For instance the sucking mouthparts on a butterfly to get the nectar in flower, or pincers on a beetle to grab prey, or a web to catch food, slimy skin on a worm to move through soil..
  • Get an expert to talk bugs – Get the local wildlife experts and organisations (such as your local wildlife trust, RSPB group or nature group) to give a talk or a wildlife walk showing what’s there – they will have expertise and the right places to see bugs.
  • Make the school grounds and buildings bug friendly – with a beetle log pile, a solitary bee hotel (they don’t sting!), bushes and wildflower patches. A pond is great way to bring in the invertebrates and can be a safe place done carefully. Your home or school buildings can host flower pots and window boxes and attract pollinating insects most of the year. You can get the children to do designs and think about what the creatures may need.
  • Read bug story books – there are many out there now – and talk about what happens to the bugs – here is a good list from BBC Wildlife magazine for starters.
  • Keep invertebrate pets – I did keep Indian stick insects when my kids were young and that was fabulous – they are very easy to keep and free to feed. But do check out best care and what not to keep.
Rebugging children can spot the tongue (proboscis) of a bee fly sucking nectar from a flower Credit Vicki hird

Some useful resources and organisations

Buglife The Invertebrate Conservation Trust – is a great organisation in the UK and you could download some of their resources here for children and schools – Activities to do with children and in schools

The UK Royal Entomological society runs Insect Week each year to introduce everyone but especially children to insects (sadly not all bugs!) – their website is here and is great with short animations to watch and discuss, lots of learning resources and plenty of ideas of things to do. And each you they run events around June time you can visit.

Garden Organic have fabulous school resources and a site to visit to learn about growing your school’s own bug friendly food.

On The Wildlife Trust there are some good general wildlife guides and your local Wildlife Trust will be hugely helpful on local species and may provide a speaker to come in and give a talk or a visit to one of their sites.

RSPB have a load of great resources online which will include invertebrates as well as wider wildlife and birds especially . They have a wild welcome pack for children with a magazine designed for different age groups.

There are many specific bug organisations that have great learning resources too such as such as Butterfly conservation and Bumblebee Conservation Trust and many others so if you have a specific bug to look at, do see if there is an organisation for it – there usually is, do google it and I list many in my book.

The Field Studies Council have fabulous guides to use for identifying wildlife including bugs and they also and run field courses for schools at all key stages.

Happy rebugging with the children!

*I well recall a camping trip where my young children disturbed a wild bee nest! My youngest was stung many times but he recovered and did not become scared of bees. We explained why they stung (and gave him a good dose of antihistamine!).

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Bugs would choose organic – tell the new PM

The Organic Trade Board and its members have started a petition to BUG THE NEW PM: Save nature in your first 100 days of government. Please do sign it here.

A key part of rebugging is being part of the movement for change so please do sign if you can. And share the petition with friends, family, anyone you can!

Here’s their pitch if you need more info:

Nature’s keyworkers such as earthworms, ladybirds and bees don’t have a voice. They have no choice in the matter when it comes to the harmful pesticides and fertilisers that are being sprayed on crops, which is ultimately leading to their decline. We need you to help make their voices heard.

Not only are insects a vital part of a balanced ecosystem, providing food for other animals and recycling nutrients, they also play an essential role in our global food system. One in three mouthfuls of food depends on pollinators and without pollinators we wouldn’t have potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, coffee, chocolate or cotton.

Organic farming works with nature, not against it, encouraging natural predators like ladybirds and pollinators like bees and butterflies rather than spraying harmful pesticides. As a result, on average, plant, insect and bird life is 50% more abundant on organic farms. There are up to seven times more wild bees in organic grain fields. So if nature did have a voice – it would choose organic. 

If pesticides were substituted for more sustainable farming practices (like organic), this could slow or reverse the decline in insects.

In the build up to Organic September 2022, the Organic Trade Board (OTB), its partners and 150 members, on behalf of the UK organic industry, is using this petition to give nature a voice for the very first time. 

On behalf of nature, the OTB is requesting that in their first 100 days of government, the new Prime Minister commits to protecting nature in any policies – and represents the UK at the crucially important UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in December.

The hope is that even tiny insect-sized steps can make a big difference when it comes to keeping nature’s crucial keyworkers thriving.

Illustration by children’s author and illustrator, Kate Pankhurst, who is also a relation of the Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst

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To mark the Royal Entomological Society’s Insect Week (3), the literary campaign group Writers Rebel (1) launches a stunning short film from environmental writer Jay Griffiths and artist-activist Gaby Solly, drawing attention to crashing insect populations across the globe.

Voiced by Sir Mark Rylance and filmed in the ruins of Tintern Abbey, Almost Invisible Angels2 shows people re-connecting with the tiny creatures that form a threatened link in the food chains we all depend on. Griffiths’ message that “Insects are – truly – the angels” celebrates the bounty that insects bring to us dailyand almost invisibly, and urges us to cherish them. A score composed and performed by folk-singer, and Music Declares Emergency9 activist, Sam Lee7, and violinist Anna Phoebe8, echoes the deep grief and poignant hope present in Rylance’s powerful narration.

Watch the film here:

 (This link will become public on Monday 20/6.) A high-resolution version suitable for screenings is available, on request.

Jay Griffiths, whose books include Why Rebel and Wild: An Elemental Journey, says:

“Imagine if our food were brought to us by dedicated and almost invisible angels. Imagine them flying, effortless and iridescent, with a beauty more extraordinary than any art of ours can ever replicate. Imagine if those mysterious beings worked freely to keep alive almost the entire living world, including birds, animals and ourselves. I wish that everyone who said they believed in angels would actually believe in insects. When I heard about the collapse of insect populations, I cried for three days. I saw in one awful moment a vision of the desolated world, a devastated wasteland.”

Pollution, monocultures, climate change and insecticides have brought invertebrate populations to an unprecedented low in most countries in the world. In Britain, climate disruption and intensive farming have caused a 60% decline in flying insects in just 20 years, and a global report in the journal Biological Conservation says a quarter of insects could be wiped out within just a decade11.

As well as their essential role in wild eco-systems, insects contribute to the pollination of over 80% of the crop species farmed across Europe. And as populations rise and diets change this reliance is growing. According to the University of Reading’s Sustainable Pollinator Services12, in the last 20 years, the area of cultivated land in the UK dependent on insect pollination has increased by 38%. Whereas the loss of key species will affect the yield of particular crops dependent on these specialist pollinators (such as the reliance of field bean production on the long-tongued bumblebee), the general decline in insect biodiversity, alongside mounting stress caused by climate change and resulting global unrest, impacts food security more broadly.

Almost invisible Angels is being released to coincide with Insect Week, an initiative run by the Royal Entomological Society and partner organisations, such as Buglife13, to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to learn and care more about insects. 

Vicki Hird6, Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and the authorof Rebugging the Planet – The Remarkable Things that Insects (and Other Invertebrates) Do – And Why We Need to Love Them More says:

“Hammered by pollution, climate change and lost habitats, insect numbers and diversity are crashing everywhere. From beetles to butterflies, wasps to worms, these angels need everyone to act, to demand far stronger policies, to eat differently, and to re-bug the planet everywhere.”

Almost Invisible Angels isthe latest in a series of collaborative artworks curated by Writers Rebel. Paint the Land2 brings together creative teams to write bold messages on rural and urban landscapes, highlighting the climate and ecological emergency. Previous pieces have included work by Booker prize-winning writer Ben Okri, Costa prize-winning Monique Roffey, and artist-activists Ackroyd and Harvey, Zac Ove and Ebon Heath.

Artist Gaby Solly, member of Culture Declares Emergency10, says:

“I’ve campaigned and protested about environmental destruction since I was a teenager, and I continue to fight now for the future of my children, and for those of all species on our precious Earth. Societies, such as ours in the UK, have become dangerously divorced from nature, and forgetting this crucial interdependence threatens our very existence. I hope that Almost Invisible Angels will help to open hearts and minds, and encourage others to urgently demand radical, regenerative change from those in power, for all our sakes.”

Musician Anna Phoebe, member of Music Declares Emergency, says:

“I found writing the music for this beautiful film an incredibly intuitive process. I wanted the music to reflect the depth and severity of the eco-crisis, grounding the piece in stark reality, but also connecting the viewer to the abundance and beauty of nature, and to the immense importance of these small insects within the expanse of our planet.”

Information for Editors


·       Writer, JAY GRIFFITHS: 07967 692 893

·       Artist GABY SOLLY: 07947577503

·       Entomologist VICKI HIRD: 07903478249

·       Composer ANNA PHOEBE: 07932724483

1.     Writers Rebel aims to galvanise writers and the publishing, literary and creative industries to commit to tell the truth about the emergency, and to inspire readers and the public to take action for social and cultural transformation. Read blogs from A L Kennedy, Zadie Smith, Ed Vulliamy, Sir Simon Schama and many others at, and read Jay Griffiths’ blog on her inspiration for Almost Invisible Angels at

2.     Visit the Paint the Land website for more resources and information about Almost Invisible Angels

and other campaigningartworks: 

3.     Royal Entomological Society- Insect Week

4.     Writer, Jay Griffiths

5.     Artist, Gaby Solly

6.     Entomologist, Vicki Hird

7.     Musician, Sam Lee

8.     Musician, Anna Phoebe

9.     Music Declares Emergency

10.  Culture Declares Emergency

11.  Journal of Biological Conservation:

12.  Sustainable Pollinators Services, University of Reading:


Latest news and blogs on rebugging Tips and Ideas

Make a Rebugging Plan

People often ask me at talks, what should I do? Where do I start as there’s so much that’s needed? Create a Rebugging Plan.

My book is full of many ways to rebug – so getting hold of a copy and reading it is a good start! It covers a whole load of issues and actions – from gardening to clothes shopping…

But where do you start right now? What I suggest is having a simple Rebugging Plan. It doesn’t have to be written down but that can help. With a memory like a sieve, I certainly need to…Your Rebugging Plan could cover four key areas and one action in each (to start with anyway for the next month or two… )

A draft plan

  1. Rebugging peoples attitudes – Share a bug photo or a fun/fascinating bug fact every week to family, friends, colleagues or community – or all of them!
  2. Rebugging your environment – So many to choose from – but how about growing some native wildflowers, making a log pile or letting a weed patch grow. In May, you could do the Plantlife #NoMowMay challenge – save time and and let the bugs live
  3. Rebugging your lifestyle – Try cooking from scratch this week, cutting out the junk food where you can.. Or don’t buy any new clothes/stuff…
  4. Rebugging your politics – Join and get active with one new organisation – like a local one (eg a wildlife Trust or local parks group) or national (eg Buglife or PAN-UK – there is a list in my book). You will be part of a powerful and growing movement for protecting the bugs and their home.

And don’t forget to make it fit and fun

You can design your Rebugging Plan to make sure the actions fit your life and needs. No point setting yourself up to fail or to overdo it. Equally you want to see some results so keep a look out for impact – more flowers in your garden or local green spaces… or your MP responding positively to your campaign letter. And building in fun things to do will help … especially if kids, or reluctant friends or colleagues, are involved.

Like the well organised ants in a colony, creating a Rebugging Plan can be a quick tool to get your work to help the bugs started.

Happy Rebugging

(photo I just took of a flower crab spider catching a hoverfly in my garden in May 2022. One to share to show what amazing creatures are on your doorstep…)

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Rebugging the Planet – book now available!

Welcome to my ‘rebugging the planet’ website. I am adding to it all the time and do follow me on Twitter and Instagram for news.

This is to introduce you to my new book ‘Rebugging the Planet: The Remarkable Things that Insects (and Other Invertebrates) Do – And Why We Need to Love Them More‘. The book is now available in all good bookshops in the UK, US and globally. See some initial reviews here.

The Audio book is also available here (5+ hours). And you can find events, upcoming talks I am doing here. Do send any comments on the book, website or on bugs!

looking after the small creatures means looking after ourselves too

‘Rebugging the Planet’ gives you lots of tips as well as stories of the incredible bugs in our lives.

Where you can order

UK links

Now available on bookshop.Org.



USA links

World links

Book Depository


Very excited to see hard copies 10 June 2021- uncorrected proofs.

Latest version of front and back cover. Looking very lovely. Great design.

Here a a few photos of the book launch on 16 September in the Stoke Newington bookshop. And my son finding it the next day in a Glasgow bookshop.

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Rebugging The Farm

I have been thinking a lot about the idea of ‘rebugging the farm’ lately. This was partly prompted by a wonderful session I did with two great bug lovers Gillian Burke of BBC SpringWatch fame (who also wrote the forward to my book) and the great dung beetle advocate Sally-Ann Spence @minbeastmayhem and @berrycroft_hub) at the Oxford Farming Conference in January 2022.

It was great fun and so interesting to hear from them both. You can watch the exchange here

Afterwards I was recalling the days I have spent on farms over the years and what I’ve learnt. It takes a fair bit for farmers to embrace the bugs after all these years of trying to remove them. I put a fair bit in the book but there is so much to say and so little space! A few thoughts I want to record here and I may expand on this…

  1. ‘It takes a whole village’ – To rebug the farm takes a whole food community – not only the farmer and their staff…but those that supply inputs to the farm – because these will have to change (pesticide reductions, introducing new tools, knowledge, finance!), and those that buy the produce (because what is produced may look different, less ‘perfect’, or just a different crop to suit the needs of the new system) and everyone in between.
  2. It takes a whole lifetime probably … mistakes will be made and farmers will sometimes have to go backwards to accommodate a less than responsive market.. If the produce buyers demand perfection its hard to leave the bugs alone and bugs are an unreliable bunch at the best of times and we have a climate crisis ahead .. and so on. Dung beetles are a great case in point but can be coaxed back with the right measures, stock, and understanding and will reward your efforts a hundred fold.
  3. It takes a willingness to embrace diversity and more complexity and more knowledge on the whole farm – with more rotations, different breeds of crop or livestock, and a more knowledge-input less chemical approach. Mixing livestock with crops and trees will be more suitable in many situations, moving away from the specialisation we’ve come to expect. Farmer to farmer learning will be key.
  4. It takes a bit of mess – more places the useful bugs can find a refuge, a nesting place, a food source… rebugging usually likes more mess.

But in return

  • It gives more beauty, wildlife and natural rewards which a farmer can bank and bank for the next generation of farmer to come
  • It can save costs – those biological controls may be a bit unreliable but they costs little, will self replicate each year and don’t need to be sprayed around taking machinery, fuel and time. Yields may go down but so will costs and the bottom line may not suffer. You may find more reward in the market place too if you can sell more direct or get an accreditation that means better prices or a more conscientious buyer.
  • It will probably gain you more support from the taxpayer as grants will be based on providing ‘public goods’ like more wildlife and protected water courses. Markets are strong for organic produce which always holds more invertebrates because the organic farmer needs them to do the work – keeping pests at bay and building soil fertility.

Just a few thoughts on why rebugging the farm is a thing..

There are many more great experts out there too willing and able to share. I will post some contacts but for starters

Innovate Farmers

Soil Association

Organic Farmers and Growers

Organic Research Centre

Nature Friendly Farmers Network

Pesticides Action Network UK

John Cherry’s farm, Hertfordshire

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Thoughts on launching a book on bugs

A few thoughts on what it has been like to launch, like a leaping flea, into the world of book interviews, talks and podcasts on Rebugging the Planet.

Admittedly it’s not been a hard graft to spend time talking about something I love. And most interviewers (especially the Sustainababble crew) are fun to talk to. I’ve probably done about 12, and written at least 15 articles so far. I even found myself advising the good folk of Wisconsin, USA, on live radio how to deal with tick problems. A few observations:

  1. I was right. People do. Like. bugs. And do get the Rebugging your attitude idea real quick. Only a few bugs are a problem. Love or at least respect the rest.
  2. I am a bit shocked at how much I forgot to put in the book. Exciting interactions with bugs I only recalled after the book went to the printers and folk starting interviewing me. It was their questions that opened the dark tunnels of my mind. A termite would have found this far quicker.
  3. I hope everyone realises that the bleak ‘what if we don’t stop harming the bugs’ bit at the beginning is short. I quickly get positive in
  4. Its been rewarding to be asked about the hard stuff – why on earth talk about poverty and inequality and politics. It’s my bread and butter and we need more people engaged on politics and power. Lobbying can make steps. Movements make real change and lead to change the bold actions by governments everywhere.
  5. Many people want to know what they can do in their garden.. If everyone with a garden or yard did do something … I have calculated we’d create 50% more* space for bugs (the green corridors, food, refuges, healthy soil, mating and nesting hideouts they need etc).
  6. I am no photographer. Seriously. I have no skills. But I’ve loved sharing the pics I’ve taken with my smartphone in my garden to new audiences and encouraging everyone to snap, zoom in, and see how beautiful, funny, and extraordinarily designed bugs are.

It’s sobering to write this on the eve of the mega international United Nations climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021. This huge event will, in many ways, determine the fate of the human race, and much of the natural world. Good luck to all the negotiators, activists, protestors going there. Leaders could get it so wrong.. too little action too late so the weather extremes, sea level rise and more all happen more and faster… or they could push the wrong actions that fail and/or create more problems than they solve (industrial biomass I am looking at you).

Climate crisis is something we can all now take action on. We can also all get rebugging – help the biodiversity side of the equation. Lots of tips in all parts of my book and great organisations to ask in the last chapter.

Do come hear me at Stamfords, London on 11 November or winter Hay in Wales 28th and more to come.

Nb Time zones. Arggg. When doing US interviews across several time zones – and add in our daylight savings…well a few almost missed recordings But thanks to Annie at OTB I can use this world time buddy now.

*not really.

Latest news and blogs on rebugging

Podcasts, blogs and interviews on rebugging

I will update this with my latests podcasts about the book and interviews:

A quick video of me introducing my book.

NEW EPISODE UK Wildlife Podcast: Rebugging the Planet with @vickihird
We talk about what inspired the book, what we can do for bugs, + Vicki explains what is happening with ELMs. We also discuss the importance of campaigning and the recent #AttackOnNature by the government. Listen here.

I had a fantastic time in conversation with Gillian Burke fromBBC SpringWatch and Sally-Ann Spence – farmer and entomologist expert, at the Oxford Real Farming Conference – you can watch it here with all the other great sessions or below.

I recently spoke at the Hay Festival Winter Weekend and you should be able to subscribe and watch it here.

Loved talking to the Wild Fed Podcast in November

A great fun interview with the Sustainababble crew.

Interview on the Permaculture Podcast Website. Or on popular podcast platforms: iTunes Spotify Stitcher.

I did a great Wisconsin public Radio phone in – fun chat on ticks and much more! link to my recent interview for LOVEreading LitFest. With Pestival founder Bridget Nicholas. Do have a listen.

On the fabulous ‘From what if to what next’ podcast with Rob Hopkins and Matt Shardlow of Buglife – new episode exploring ‘What if the bugs bounced back?‘ .

On the FARMGATE podcast talking bugs and farm policy

the Urban Farmer in the US interviewed me for his show twice maybe!

For the love of Bugs – in the Pesticide Action Network website

Go organic Blog Why we should all be ‘rebugging’ the planet

Its all about food – IT’S ALL ABOUT FOOD podcast

My Q &A with A great Read –

A podcast with the Food Chain Radio in the US


Why I wrote Rebugging the Planet

OK so this book is about the remarkable importance of the spineless of this earth, why we should help them and how. It started life as a set of fun tips for rebugging which I wrote on my phone on a long journey somewhere. The list got longer, more detailed and more political. We can’t just make small changes – we need to affect the systems at fault from food supply change, to global economics. And I could not help myself.

Somehow, as is often the way with words, it developed into a bigger idea which the publisher Chelsea Green seemed to like.

It has been a big learning curve for me in writing this whilst also working on my regular job of campaigning and trying the influence the creation of a whole new set of farm and environment policies.

I thought I knew a fair bit when I started. I’ve kept a good eye on what’s happening in the invertebrate worlds through reading and keeping watch of research developments especially via the Royal Society of Entomology. But as i delved further, I was freshly amazed by how incredible the tiny creatures of this world are. How termites build.. how insects have incredible ways of working with plants.. by the impact of climate change on spiders.. by the key role tiny wood ants can play in keeping a forest healthy. The task was a delight and also daunting. How to chose what to include? What invertebrates to do us and what we can learn from them was big enough. But it was also good to develop more the ideas on what we can do to help, in a whole heap of ways from small to huge

My book could never shirk the hard stuff. It’s not only about planting native flowers and cutting out the chemicals … but about what you eat and wear, how you get political with a small ‘p’ to stop systemic problems that harm bugs. I could not fail to look at overconsumption and waste, and not just of food (my pet area) but clothes and other products too. And inevitably, the unacceptable power of global agro-chemical companies and grain traders as well as poverty and inequality. It all matters to bugs.

But there are lots of good tips and facts too – what we can learn from bugs – and links to useful organisations and guides to get you rebugging in whatever way you can.