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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Equipment in Focus: Royal Entomological Society Bug Hunting Kits

Poppy Dean
Poppy Dean

Shows the bug kit- containing a net, ID guide, pooter and collecting pots

The Royal Entomological Society (RES) is an organisation dedicated to advancing the field of insect science. Through encouraging open communication, research and publication, the RES hopes to enrich the world with entomology 

Developed in collaboration with the RES, the Royal Entomological Society Bug Hunting Kits provide naturalist users with the tools to safely capture, observe and identify British insects. Kitted with sweep nets, collecting pots and a pooter to capture your insects, you will also be provided with a hand lens, ID guide and optional forceps for identification of species you find. 

Suited for aspiring entomologists, The Royal Entomological Society Educational Bug Hunting Kit includes a copy of A Naturalists Guide to The Insects of Britain and Northern Europe. The Royal Entomological Society Advanced Bug Hunting Kit provides a technical alternative for more experienced naturalists, with additional pointed forceps and the Collins Complete Guide to British Insects. Here we take a closer look at what’s included in these exclusive kits.  

A hand holding a net, sweeping in a bush of nettles.

As seen on Countryfile, the Standard Sweep Net provides users with a simple, lightweight (280g) net for catching invertebrates. The short, 15cm handle has a foam grip for improved control and a lightweight aluminium frame. The net itself is made in the UK and features a soft calico bag attached via Velcro to the frame, making it easy to remove for washing.


A hand holding a pooter- a plastic chamber with two long plastic tubes used to entrap invertebrates

At the core of this kit is the NHBS Insect Pooter. Expertly designed and manufactured at our facilities in Devon, this piece of kit can safely capture a wide range of invertebrates. Affordable and simple to use, this item allows the user to observe specimens in a see-through chamber. The chamber is topped with a 2.5× magnification lens for easy viewing and identification. The pooters components can be removed and cleaned for sanitation between sampling.  


An alder fly in a collecting pot on a page of an identification guide showing species of flying insects

Each kit comes with five 60ml Collecting Pots for specimen handling and collection. The collecting pots have secure screw-on lids, made with see-through polypropylene for easy, clear viewing.  


A hand holding a magnifying hand lens over a ladybird on a leaf.

The handy Double Loupe Hand Lens provided with this kit is only 30mm in diameter, comprising two silicate glass lenses, 5× and 10× magnification. The lenses of this sturdy pocket magnifier fold into a protective casing, keeping them clear from scratches between use. Lightweight and compact, this hand lens is highly portable and is ideal for people of all ages. 


a pair of metal forceps with a beetle on a muddy tree stump

Made from a non-magnetic stainless-steel alloy, the Super Fine Pointed Forceps are manufactured with fine points for precision use. Included with the Advanced Bug Hunting Kit, these precise forceps are not serrated to minimise damage to delicate specimens, and at 11cm are a handy size for transportation and use in-field.  


Front cover of the Collins Complete Guide to British Insects

Provided with the Advanced Bug Hunting Kit, the Collins Complete Guide to British Insects is a photographic field guide to common and unusual insect species across Britain. This extensive work covers over 1,500 species, providing descriptions and detailing where, and when, to observe them. With detailed photographs for each species, differences between similar organisms are highlighted to aid identification. This book covers a range of insects, from bugs and bees to moths and mayflies.  


Front cover of a Naturalists guide to the insects of britain and northern europe

A Naturalists Guide to the Insects of Britain and Northern Europe is provided with the Educational Bug Hunting Kit. This easy-to-use ID guide is ideal for nonspecialist naturalists, with high quality photos of over 280 insect species. A description of appearance, associated habitats, habits and conservation status are outlined for each species. The guide also includes life cycles and describes the conservation of the group.     


The mission of The Royal Entomological Society is to enrich the world with insect science- doing this through events, books and supporting young people in gaining skills in entomology.

The Royal Entomological Society receives 10% from the sale of this kit to support their cause.