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Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Membership Officer Sue Crookes has made an unusual discovery during an event at the Trust's new Shipley Nature Reserve. Sue was attending the Trust's annual barbecue - a thank you to its volunteers - when she found a spider which turned out to be the first of its kind recorded in the county.
Local Wildlife Sites Officer Nick Law identified the unusual arachnid as Cheiracanthium erraticum, and he passed the details on to Peter Harvey of the Spider Recording Scheme who was able to confirm that this was a county first. The sighting has now been entered onto the national database and Shipley Nature Reserve is now 'on the map' as far as spiders are concerned.
The nature reserve is on land to the south of the former American Adventure theme park and was purchased by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust earlier this year. In addition to Friday's discovery, the Trust's public Open Day at the reserve found several interesting insect species including small heath butterfly, burnet companion moth and the nymphs of the long-winged conehead, a bush cricket species which has only recently started to colonise Derbyshire.