Discovering a miniature marvel of nature 

In the cool of the evening I wandered down to the Copse. A boardwalk runs through the trees, protecting this SSSI Ancient Woodland fragment from trampling feet, keeping a clear path through. Along the path hazel coppice drop their bows, oaks tower overhead, the light filtered through a myriad of greens onto the verdant forest floor. 

On hazel leaves an artist had been at work, perfect spiralled creations hanging from the leaves. 

Who had made these beautiful additions to the trees? Remarkably they are the work of a tiny insect, a Birch leaf roller, Deporaus betulae, a type of weevil.

The female cuts the living leaf, in an S shape, rolling it into a tight cone. She lays the egg in the centre of the roll and the cone acts as protection for the larvae. 

The cones are works of art, incredibly intricate. They hold together, the leaf dried into a masterpiece. 

Nature really is amazing, I came away from the Copse enchanted with the marvels to be found when you really look. 

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