Glow worm sites in and around Gloucestershire

A. Records published by Anthony Wootton (Country-Side 1971, 21 456-463 and 572-574, and XXII, No 6, Spring 1974, 266-271.)
NB: Comments such as '10 years ago' here refer from 1970s.

St. Briavels (SO 555040), 1 larva, end April 1968.
Nr. Coleford, Forest of Dean (SO 559130) 1968-9
Lower Soudley, Forest of Dean (SO 661105), numerous in late 1940s; (SO 665101), 1 female, November 1966.
Longhope area, two sites c.1 mile apart (SO 695165, 707163) several May/June 1968 and previous years.
Blaisdon, along disused railway line (SO 702161-694166), 33 counted, June 1969.
Rodborough Hill Nr. Stroud (SO 850035), July 1943.
Stroud (SO 855053), 1 male at oil lamp July 1902. [NB - not much chance of finding anything in the middle of Stroud now!]
Jackdaw Lane, Nr. Stroud (SO 883065), females common, males scarce, July 1905.
Benhall, Cheltenham (SO 920215), 1 male, July 1967.
Daneway N.R. (SO 937056), 1 larva, end October 1968.
Daisby Bank Road, Leckhampton 1, July 1969,.
W. Slope of Nottingham Hill, Nr. Bishops Cleeve (SO 976283), at least 8, late June 1957.
Cleeve Hill (SO 995250), 1 female, July 1967; (SO 983268) 1, larva, May 1963.
Postlip, Cleeve Hill (SO 995266), 1 larva, October 1969, 1 male, June 1968.
Nr. Rising Sun Hotel, Cleeve Hill Common, W. of Bishops Cleeve, 2, June 1969.
Stratton, Nr. Cirencester (SP 015042), 12, June 1969.
Rendcomb, Nr. Cirencester (SP 015100), 1 female, February 1943.
Colesborne, Nr. Cirencester (SP 020110), c. 1910.
Brassey N.R. Nr. Bourton-on-the-Water (SP 143226), larvae May/June 1965.  April/May 1968.
Nr. Bourton-on-the-Water (SP 155211), 2 larvae, May 1965.
Saunders Green, Whitecroft, Lydney, several late August 1973.
Nr. Eastcombe, numerous on farm bank nr. old Thames-Severn canal, early 1930s.
Cutsdean c.23 in leafy lane, 1972.
South of Berkeley, Nr. Severn, numerous along roadsides in 1930s.
Rockness Hill, Horsley, Nr. Stroud, few in roadside grasses, 1972-3.

B. Sites reported to Robin Scagell
Site  Map    Location and details if any: f = (glowing) females, m = males
No    Ref
109 SO7202   Along canal, Slimbridge, Glos 100f 1991
573 SO827091?Haresfield Beacon. Dozens, Jul/Aug 1976.
590 SO889339 Mythe Railway Reserve. 8f, 11.7.90.
588 SO897333 Rly embankment, Tewkesbury. 79f, 10.7.90. See Notes
589 SO898332 Rly embankment, Tewkesbury. 7f, 10.7.90.
553 SO9013   Cranham Scout Camp 2f Jul 75
217 ST7495   Above North Nibley, Glos. Every year

The Tewkesbury site has become a famous, if not notorious, site. The railway embankment referred to is part of the former railway line into Tewkesbury, and the whole site supports well over 100 glow worms on good nights. It is unusual in that it provides a chance to see glow worms on a site very close to a town centre, unlike most sites which are fairly remote.

Gloucester County Council had proposed a relief road which ran in part along the line of the old track, but vehement protests by townpeople and the local Friends of the Earth have forced the plans to be abandoned, at least temporarily. It had been suggested that the glow worms along the threatened length of the track could be moved (translocated), and the engineering consultants Sir William Halcrow undertook a wildlife audit which included detailed investigations into the locations of the glow worms and discussions as to how they could be moved.

Among the issues that were addressed in the audit were means of collecting either larval or adult glow worms, and the choice of potential sites for translocation. These methods were not put to the test, but major doubts were raised as to the feasibility of moving any but a small proportion of the insects.