Two thirds of British moth species are in decline

Data from a nationwide network of light traps has revealed that two thirds of British moth species have declined over the past 35 years

Scarce footman, Eilema complana

Data from a nationwide network of light traps has revealed that two thirds of British moth species have declined over the past 35 years. Worst affected are species, such as the Dusky Thorn and Hedge Rustic, which have decreased by more than 90%. It may be that they are suffering from the effects of global warming. "These species overwinter as eggs," explains Rothamsted scientist Dr Kelvin Conrad, "and they don't appear to be surviving the warmer, wetter winters of recent years".

However, some species are thriving on recent changes. For example, numbers of the "Scarce Footman" caught in the traps have increased by more than twenty fold. This species, like other lichen feeders, is on the increase, possibly because lower air pollution is encouraging better lichen growth.

Dr Conrad will present this data as part of the session "The long view" on the morning of Thursday 9th September during the Festival of Science, University of Exeter, Queen's building.

Questioning the feasibility of the “4 per 1000” goal to sequester carbon in soil and slow climate change

International group of leading scientists suggest goal is unattainable in many situations, but still good for improving soil quality.

Wood pellets enhance ecosystems and raise renewable energy prospects, says international report

Study marks a controversial stand in a lively, ongoing debate about the sustainability of biomass derived from forests.

The BBSRC invest in Rothamsted Research’s science strategy

BBSRC invests £50.9M in support of excellent agricultural science at Rothamsted Research to address grand challenges faced by farmers and society for the sustainability of food production and the environment.

How to deliver an improved UK agriscience sector outside of the EU

Rothamsted Research and the NFU convened a workshop identifying the key areas of focus in order to have a world leading agriscience sector in the UK after Brexit.


Rothamsted Press Office

For further information, please contact:
Professor Angela Karp (, Tel: +44 (0) 1582 938 855

About Rothamsted Research

We are the longest running agricultural research station in the world, providing cutting-edge science and innovation for over 170 years. Our mission is to deliver the knowledge and new practices to increase crop productivity and quality and to develop environmentally sustainable solutions for food and energy production.

Our strength lies in the integrated, multidisciplinary approach to research in plant, insect and soil science.
Rothamsted Research is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)


BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, BBSRC invested £473M in world-class bioscience, people and research infrastructure in 2015-16. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes.