Yes, last night Redgrave and Lopham Fen was featured on ‘Wild Britain’ with Ray Mears! He spent some time in one of the ‘spider pools’ searching for the extremely rare Fen Raft Spider (Dolomedes plantarius). Found at just three sites in the UK, and one of our largest spiders. Despite living locally for nearly 20 years, I have only seen one on just two occasions. The second time in 2006 – I managed to get a photo!
Yes, not the best photo in the world, but back then I was still at Uni, and still leaning my craft. From memory, this was shot on Fuji Velvia slide film!
Surely even people who don’t like arachnids can see how special this creature is. Chocolatey brown with white or cream ‘go faster’ stripes, sitting patiently on the edge of a reed – front legs resting on the waters surface, waiting the vibration of nearby prey. Then turning silvery when diving beneath the water to catch dinner, which might be something as large as a stickleback. I’m definitely going to try and photograph these again!
For more information on the Fen Raft Spider, take a look here: http://www.dolomedes.org.uk
And finally, here’s a couple of more recent shots from the Fen. I haven’t been out much of late, unfortunately days off and decent weather haven’t coincided.
(Click images to view larger)