Rare grasshopper being reintroduced to Norfolk

The rare large marsh grasshopper is being brought back to Norfolk.

The rare large marsh grasshopper is being brought back to Norfolk - Credit: Norfolk Wildlife Trust

A project is taking place to reintroduce one of the rarest British grasshoppers to Norfolk. 

Norfolk Wildlife Trust is working on the scheme being led by rewilding social enterprise Citizen Zoo to return the large marsh grasshopper to wetlands. 

As a result of the widespread drainage of wetlands and degradation of peat bogs, the species has been confined to the New Forest and a small area of Dorset. 

But the project aims to increase numbers to their former level across Norfolk and the Cambridgeshire fens.

Citizen Zoo released the first home-reared grasshoppers into the wild in Norfolk in 2019.

In July 2020, it discovered the first males from eggs laid in the wild by home-reared grasshoppers were "the first of many generations to come of Norfolk large marsh grasshoppers". 

Norfolk Wildlife Trust's first nature reserve at Cley Marshes

Large marsh grasshoppers are being reintroduced in Norfolk wetland habitats - Credit: Richard Osbourne

The Citizen Zoo website says: "Climate change and habitat fragmentation mean that this species will face ever-growing threats to its survival.

Most Read

"We are confident that we can turn the tide together and give this rare species a fighting chance in years to come."

The large marsh grasshopper feeds on grasses, rushes and sedges. 

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust said it was delighted to be part of restoring the population in the county. 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter