This sub-species of the Sandhill Rustic Moth is confined to sand dune systems in North Wales and North-West England. Other sub-species – all coastal but with varying habitat requirements – occur in Cornwall (ssp. leechi), South-West Ireland (ssp. knilli) and Essex/Kent (ssp. demuthi). The Red Data Book lists ssp. leechi as Endangered and ssp. gueneei as Vulnerable (Shirt 1987).
As its vernacular name suggests, the bee is an early spring species, normally occurring from late March to the end of May. It nests in old blow-outs undergoing secondary plant colonisation in semi-fixed yellow dune habitat. Females forage predominantly, but not exclusively, on the pollen of Creeping Willow Salix repens and mass emergence of both sexes, which are triggered by a period of warm weather, occur over two to three days.
The Grayling is a butterfly mostly associated with coastal grasslands. Its caterpillars feed exclusively on grasses, especially fescues, bents and hair-grasses. The adults seek out thistle, bramble and other flowers as sources of nectar and require plentiful areas of bare ground on which to bask to gain sufficient warmth to fly.
Northern Dune Tiger Beetle is extensively found along a 15 kilometre stretch of the Sefton Coast which is estimated to support up to 75% of the species’ British population. It was recorded from 105, separate 100 metre squares, on the Sefton Coast during a 1999 – 2003 survey. The species is almost continuously recorded between Birkdale in the north and Hightown in the south. The most southerly record for the species is from Hall Road Crosby.