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First sighting of rare forest chafer beetle in 100 years

By Tom Pugh

Published 11/03/2016

The rare forest chafer beetle, which has been sighted at White Park Bay
The rare forest chafer beetle, which has been sighted at White Park Bay

A rare beetle has been rediscovered in Northern Ireland - a century after it was last spotted here.

The rare forest chafer beetle, Melolontha hippocastani, was found at White Park Bay, Co Antrim - the first recorded sighting in more than 100 years.

It was one of a number of amazing discoveries during the biggest survey yet of nature around parts of the UK coastline.

Wildlife experts and nature lovers recorded more than 3,400 species at 25 of the National Trust's sites along the coasts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Among the discoveries during the "bio blitz" surveys was the first recorded sighting of the Balearic shearwater seabird, Puffinus mauretanicus, at Blakeney on the Norfolk coast.

David Bullock, the Trust's head of conservation, said: "The data from these bio blitzes will play an important part in giving us a greater understanding of the species that live along our coastline."

The latest surveys were organised to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the National Trust's Neptune Coastline Campaign.

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