Posted: 21/08/2012 at 10:46
Thanks for the comments. I'm in the East Midlands too, Bookertoo, in Peterborough. It sounds as if those early ladybirds could well have been ones that overwintered in your garden, and some have stayed around.
Perhaps the lesson here is NOT to tody-up and cut things back in the autumn, but leave dense cover for ladybirds (and other creatures) to hibernate in.
It stands to reason that if your garden is a 'desert', and devoid of food (pests) then you won't have much friendly wildlife around either.
But my garden isn't a desert, and I DO have plenty of pests!