How to make a home for stag beetles

Do it:

All year round

Takes just:

one hour

Stag beetles lay eggs underground near rotting wood. The larvae of these insects live in the wood for up to five years, before pupating to become adults. Help protect this endangered species by making a simple habitat for them.

You will need

  • Bucket
  • Bark chippings
  • Soil
  • Craft knife


Use a craft knife to make holes about 3 cm across in the sides and base of the bucket.

Choose an area of your garden that will not be disturbed and dig a hole to bury the bucket so that its rim is just below soil level. Loosely fill any gaps around the bucket with soil.

Place a few large stones in the bottom of the bucket and then fill it with bark chippings and a little garden soil.


Kate Bradbury

Kate Bradbury says

Dead wood is extremely important to stag beetles, particularly if it is buried underground. Stag beetles have been known to lay eggs in the roots of very old established shrubs, including forsythia and buddleia. Take great care when removing old shrubs in your garden and do try to keep tree stumps as they provide an important habitat for these endangered beetles, plus a wide range of other insects.

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