There have definitely been more butterflies and other insects around, and the plan is to try and add a few more plant species into the mix by some adding some seeds.
Anyway, over the past couple of weeks, I've been strimming the long grass, raking it up and adding it to the compost heap.
This bug was extremely striking as it moved around the tray at a fast rate of knots. A quick scan of images on the amazing British Bugs site nailed it as Graptopeltus lynceus. It's apparently associated with dry sparsely-vegetated habitats such as dunes, breckland, and old sand or chalk pits. It feeds mainly on viper's bugloss. My garden doesn't really fit this description. It's really more of wet habitat sat on heavy clay soil on the edge of the fens. However, it is dry at the moment and there are a couple of Viper's Bugloss plants in one bit. So maybe that's all it needs.
At 2mm, Cartodere bifasciata is a small beetle found in decaying plant material. The elytra are yellowy-brown and are marked with a darker patterning of large dot like blotches. The elytra are also studded with rows of dimples. It's fairly distinctive when seen.
There are also plenty of staphs in the dried grass. Here's a trio of them. In the middle is Tachyporus hypnorum, one of the commonest British Beetles. On the right is Drusilla canaliculata and on the left Sepedophilus nigripennis.