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Bury St Edmunds Nostalgia - Icklingham children find rare alder sawfly at Lackford Lakes



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In today's nostalgia we go back to 2012 when a rare insect not seen in Suffolk for more than a century was found by two young children at a nature reserve near Bury St Edmunds.

The large alder sawfly was caught by Odin and Jasmine, aged five and six, while bug hunting at Suffolk Wildlife Trusts’ Lackford Lakes May Festival, and at the time, had only just been identified with the help of Martin Sanford at Suffolk Biological Records Office and Castle Museum in Norwich.

The Icklingham youngsters’ find was the first time the insect had been recorded in Suffolk since one was found by Freston Wood in 1904.

In today's nostalgia we transport back 2012 when two children, aged five and six, found a rare alder sawfly at Lackford Lakes, near Bury St Edmunds
In today's nostalgia we transport back 2012 when two children, aged five and six, found a rare alder sawfly at Lackford Lakes, near Bury St Edmunds

It was not seen again in Britain until 1997, near Salisbury, though more recently at the the time of publication it had turned up in Great Yarmouth.

The 2cm long large alder sawfly (Cimbex conatus) has a 5cm wingspan and superficially resembles a hornet.

The alder sawfly has a wingspan of 5cm and resembles a hornet
The alder sawfly has a wingspan of 5cm and resembles a hornet

It is associated with alder trees and alder carr (wet woodland) which are both found at Lackford Lakes.