Discover Ants with a Wildlife Nest Quest During Lockdown

Back from the Brink and Buglife are inviting people to take part in a unique wildlife quest during their daily exercise outdoors. If you happen to see a wood ant nest during your walk, run or cycle, you can now take part in Nest Quest, a new public participation survey to find out more about our amazing ants.

We are keen to learn about wood ant nest locations, distributions and densities across the country, but particularly in Devon. And we need your help to do this!  By joining in Nest Quest, you can learn more about the fascinating lives of ants and have fun along the way. Connection with nature and natural places can also help support mental and physical wellbeing, with added significance in this time of social distancing and isolation at home.

Nest of the Narrow-headed Ant (c) Alex Hyde

Our Narrow-headed Ant Project Officer Stephen Carroll explained “wood ants are about the least socially distanced of our insects, with tens of thousands of individuals living in incredible nest cities built up into pyramid-like mounds of pine needles and other materials. As well as ant societies, these structures host and support hundreds of other types of wildlife, in fact wood ant colonies can play a key role in maintaining and influencing surrounding habits”.

Narrow-headed Ant Nest (c) Jenni Stockhan

No special skills or journeys are needed, the Nest Quest survey can be carried out easily while walking the dog or during outdoor exercise. Just keep a look out for the distinctive wood ant nests, especially if in woodland or moorland edge, and submit records by smartphone or by computer when back at home. Oh, and don’t forget to take a photo – you could even take an ant nest selfie!  To find out more, or to begin the quest, head to the Nest Quest page.


Back from the Brink / Buglife


Would you like to help these incredible species? There are numerous ways in which you can:

  • Help us to spread the word of this species, and the others we will be helping by sharing our message across our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages. Follow us: @naturebftb.
  • Finally - help support the work we do across England by donating. Our impact will be greater with your help.