If you go out to the heaths of Surrey or Sussex on a sunny day in late April you may see folk on their hands and knees peering into small holes and twiddling blades of grass. This high-tech activity is known as ‘cricket tickling’ and is the technique used by licence holders to catch Field Crickets for translocation within the Back from the Brink project.
If you are keen and committed you can be trained in the catching technique, so long as you are willing to help the project in future years.
Alternatively, you may be interested in helping monitor this threatened species during May and June. This requires walking transects across the heaths and listening out for the high pitched chirrup of calling males. If you can hear Goldcrests you should be ok at hearing the crickets.
If none of that suits you - we are always in need of helping hands during the autumn and winter, to help keep the habitat in good shape for the crickets and other wildlife that need the open conditions, like Sand Lizards and Woodlark.
If you are interested, please contact Mary Braddock, our volunteer co-ordinator at Farnham Heath: firstname.lastname@example.org.