2019 Annual Garden Survey

Now in its fifth year, the survey provides a yearly snapshot of life in the garden, with experts and volunteers coming together to create an ongoing record of its resident and visiting creatures, and an annual health check on their numbers. This year 120 species were recorded over a 24-hour period, 20 more than in 2018, mainly due to an increase in the number of moths.

Alongside a huge range of insects, other recordings included six species of bat, a juvenile grass snake, and badgers and foxes captured on a newly installed trail cam.

The survey is a key part of the work of the Knoll Gardens Foundation, the garden-based charity set up to understand the ecology of the garden and encourage others to adopt techniques that benefit the gardener and garden wildlife.

“We are working to understand more about the relationship between the garden’s wildlife and its plants,” said Knoll Gardens Foundation Chairman Peter Gear, “And this year, thanks to increased support from the Dorset Wildlife Trust, we have begun to build more of a picture of that interrelationship here at Knoll, recording not just the creatures in the garden but the plants they are found on. The information we record will help inform our ongoing planting.

“This year we were lucky enough to enjoy a gloriously sunny day which provided perfect foraging for bees. Whilst honey bees were most abundant, it was interesting to note a profusion of buff tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) feasting on Sanguisorba Lilac Squirrel, whilst the white tailed bumble bee (Bombus lucorum) favoured Echinops, Astilbe and Veronicastrum. Each year we learn something new about the garden, it really is a fascinating day and I am already wondering what next year’s survey might reveal.”

NOTE abundance of 1 indicates ‘presence’ actual abundance may be higher – actual abundance not recorded


Species Common Name Abundance (notes) Host Plants
Aricia agestis brown argus 1 Crocosmia
Celastrina argiolus holly blue 5 Persicaria, holly
Gonepteryx rhamni brimstone 4
Maniola jurtina meadow brown 30 Veronicastrum, Echinops, Hemp Agrimony, Persicaria ‘Taurus’, Fuschia,Hebe,grass, Eupatoria
Pararge aegeria speckled wood 16 Epimedium, Choysia
Pieris brassicae large white/ cabbage white 2 Persicaria
Pieris napi green-veined white 1 Dock, Michaelmas daisy
Pieris rapae small white 1 Hydrangea
Polyommatus icarus common blue 4 Veronicastrum, Echinops, Hemp Agrimony, Persicaria ‘Taurus’, Fuschia,Hebe,grass
Pyronia tithonus gatekeeper 3 Agapanthus
Inachis io peacock 4 Gaura
Vanessa atalanta red admiral 13 Sanguisorbia ‘Lilac Squirrel’, Lysimachia, Eupatorium, Helianthus
Aromia moschata Musk beetle 1 (possible)
Erynnis tages Dingy skipper 1 (possible)

Bees, Wasps and Hornets

Species Common Name Abundance (notes) Host Plants
Apis mellifera honey bee >100 Persicaria, Geranium, Fuschia, Sanguisorbia, Abelia,Sidalcia, Scabious
Bombus lapidarius red-tailed bumblebee 2 Geraniums
Bombus lucorum White tailed bumblebee 12 Astilbe, Ligularia, Veronicastrum, Eupatorium, Echinops,Hebe
Bombus pascuorum common carder bee 6 Hydrangea, Purple Loosestrife, Verbena bonariensis
Bombus pratorum early bumble bee
Bombus terrestris buff tailed bumblebee >40 Sanguisorbia ‘Lilac squirrel’, Helianthus, Agapanthus, Verbena, Ligularia, Persicaria,Abelia,Scabious,Thistle,Echinacea
Dolichovespula media median wasp
Ectemnuis sp. Wasp sp.Digger Wasp sp.
Lasioglossum sp. Solitary bee sp.
Osmia sp mason bee 8 Persicaria (possibly red mason bee (O.bicornis))
Sphecodes sp. Solitary bee sp. 1
unidentified wasp >50 Persicaria, Persicaria ‘Fat Domino’, Purple Loosestrife, Hydrangea
unidentified hoverfly >20 Persicaria
unidentified bumblebee >40 Fuschia, Persicaria,Abelia, Hebe
unidentified bee >70 Persicaria, Fuschia, Blue Geranium, Verbena bonariensis, Veronicastrum, Golden Rod
Vespa crabro European Hornet 1 Hebe
Vespula vulgaris Common Wasp


Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Aeshna cyanea southern hawker 3
Aeshna grandis brown hawker 4
Anax imperator emperor dragonfly 2 (female x1)
Sympetrum striolatum common darter 2
unidentified dragon 4


Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Coenagrion puella azure damselfly 1
Enallagma cyathigerum common blue damselfly 1
Ischnura elegans blue tailed damselfy 2


Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Buteo buteo buzzard 1
Columba palumbus wood pigeon 2
Columba livea feral pigeon 1
Cyanistes caeruleus blue tit 2
Dendrocopus major greater spotted woodpecker 2
Parus major great tit 1
Periparus ater coal tit 1
Picus viridis green woodpecker 1
Sitta europaea nuthatch 3
Troglodytes troglodytes wren 1
Turdus merula blackbird 3
Carduelis carduelis goldfinch 1


Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Natrix natrix Grass Snake 1


Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Rana temporaria common frog 1
unidentified newt (wild strawberries)


Species Common Name Abundance (notes) Host Plants
Asilidae Robber fly 4 Eryngium (photo of 1)
Arhopalus sp Long horn beetle 1 (probably A. rusticus (dusky longhorn))
Calliphora sp Blue Bottle 1 Francoa
Cetonia aurata Rose chafer 2 Hydrangea(possible)
Conops flavipes (male) Fly sp. 1
Coreus marginatus dock bug 1 (nymph)
Chrysops Deer fly 1 Persicaria ‘Fat Domino’
Episyrphus balteatus Marmalade hoverfly 1 Teasel
Eristalis pertinax Drone Fly 1
Formica pos. fusca or related sp. Black Ant sp. 1
Hilara chorica 1 Euphorbia
Lasius niger black garden ant >10
Myrmeleotettix maculatus mottled grasshopper 1
Palomena prasina common green shieldbug 1
Pyrochoa serraticornis Cardinal beetle 2
Rhogonycha fulva Common Red Soldier Beetle >20 Lysimachia, Hydrangea, grass
Rutpela maculata Black & Yellow Longhorn 1 (possible)
Sarcophagidae Flesh fly 3
Solenopsis sp Red Ant 1
Sphaerophoria scripta hoverfly 1
Syrphus ribesii hoverfly 1 Astilbe(possible)
unidentified ant 100
unidentified fly >30 Variagated Abelia, Persicaria
unidentified centepede/millipede 1
unidentified ladybird 1
unidentified hoverfly >30 Persicaria, Purple Loosestrife, Hydrangea,Hypericum
unidentified sheild bug 6 Persicaria, Fennel
unidentified cricket 3 Scabious
unidentified grasshopper 2 michelmus daisy
Volucella inanis hoverfly 3 Persicaria
Volucella pellucens great pied hoverfly 1
Volucella zonaria hornet hoverfly 2 (photo)


Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Pipistrellus pygmaeus Soprano pipistrelle (not intensive bat activity – frequent)
Pipistrellus pipistrellus Common pipistrelle (frequent)
Eptesicus serotinus Serotine (frequent)
Nyctalus noctula Noctule 1
Plecotus auritus Brown Long eared (likely)
Myotis nattereri Natterer (probably)
unidentified vole/shrew (by Pond)


Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Miltochrista miniata rosy footman 5
Ochropleura plecta flame shoulder 2
Patania ruralis mother of pearl 3
Idaea biselata small fan footed wave 2
Crambus perlella micromoth 1
Blastobastis adustella micromoth 1
Yellow Shell 1
Adaina microdactyla Hemp agrimony plume
Cataclysta lemnata small china mark 1
Noctua janthe Lesser broad bordered Yellow Underwing 1
Noctua pronuba Large yellow underwing 1
Epirrhoe alternata Common carpet 1
Pandemis corylana Chequered fruit tree tortrix 1
Agrotis puta Shuttle shaped dart 4
Eilema griseola Dingy footman 1
Cydia splendana Tortrix moth 2
Opisthograptis luteolata Brimstone 2
Cyclophora punctaria Maiden’s Blush 1
Eudonia merchrella micromoth 1
Deilephila elpenor Large Elephant Hawk Moth 1
Mesapamea secalis Common Rustic 2
Mythimna ferrago Clay 2
Dioryctria abietella micromoth 1
Macaria liturata Tawny Barred Angle 2
Xestia c-nigrum Setaceous Hebrew Character 1
Acrobasis aduenella micromoth 1
Lithosia quadra Four Spotted Footman 1
Agriphella selasella micromoth 1
Carcina quercana micromoth 1
Cosmia trapezina Dun bar 1
Mythimna pallens Common Wainscot 1
Eupithecia centaureata Lime Speck Pug 1
Noctua comes Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
Eilema depressa Buff Footman 1
Catoptria pinella micromoth 1
Colocasia coryli Nut Tree Tussock 1
Agrotis exclamationis Heart & Dart 1
Abrostola tripartita Spectacle 1
Biston betularia Peppered 1
Macaria notata Peacock 1
Lycophotia porphyrea True Lovers Knot 1
Peribatodes rhomboidaria Willow Beauty 1
Lymantria monacha Black Arches

Spiders and Others

Species Common Name Abundance (notes) Host Plants
Linyphia triangularis sheet web spider 1 (on tree)
Neriene montana money spider 3 (possible)
Oniscus asellus woodlouse 1
unidentified spider 3 Sedum, Echinops
unidentified millipede 1
unidentified snail 3