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Friday, 19 July, 2002, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
Worm find lights up new park
Glow worm pic from UK Glow worm Survey Home Page
Glow worms are seen in late evening during summer
Scotland's first national park has had a bright start following the discovery of glow worms in woodland.

The find, the first recorded Scottish sighting for several years, was made near Aberfoyle in part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Hours later, there was a sighting of the nightjar, a rare bird more commonly spotted in south west Scotland, in the same area.

The Forestry Commission announced details of the discoveries on Friday, calling them "a major milestone" in the drive to encourage and enrich Scotland's wildlife.

Lake of Menteith
The glow worms were found in the Trossachs

Jonathan Willet, who found the glow worms during a night-time search, said: "Glow worms are incredible creatures and finding them for the first time in the Aberfoyle area was an extremely exciting and rewarding moment."

The Stirling-based biodiversity expert had been asked to investigate by local forest district manager Hugh Clayden.

Mr Clayden had spotted what he thought were glow worms while searching for nightjars.

Peak activity time for the rare phosphorescent beetles is between 2200 BST and midnight during June and July.

Mr Clayden said: "No-one really knows very much about Scotland's population of glow worms and where they are.

"There are simply too few records and researchers are still in the dark over the factors affecting their distribution."

He added: "It is crucial we determine which habitats suit the glow worms best so we can tailor the way we manage the woods to give these appealing insects the best possible chance of survival."

The Aberfoyle sighting has prompted a campaign to encourage people to look out for other sightings and log them online.

See also:

08 Jul 02 | Scotland
21 Apr 02 | Scotland
23 Mar 99 | Science/Nature
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