If one takes the time to look, it is amazing what can be found in an ordinary suburban garden. Mind you, this very large beetle was hard to miss. It is a Longhorn Tanner Beetle - Prionus coriarius - and it is a scarce (Na, Nationally Notable) UK species.
Nature doesn't just "happen" in wilderness places or those that humans have designated in some way as parks, environmentally sensitive areas, "AONB"s or "Greenbelt". Such terms are human centred and we humans are a part of nature not separate from her.
So, on an old fence panel in a back garden, in an area where there is huge pressure to build ever more homes for humans, here is an astonishing creature. The larvae of the Longhorn Tanner Beetle (also known as the Longhorn Sawyer Beetle) take 3-4 years to develop in decaying tree roots, which shows the importance of leaving tree stumps to decay naturally whenever possible.
The Tanner Beetle was around the garden for a few days at the beginning of August - really most impressive when flying!
My thanks to Dr. Ian Bedford who confirmed my identification via twitter.
The National Biodiversity Network Gateway site:
Photos of P.coriarus by S. Falk:
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