In the UK the field cricket has been lost from a major part of its historic range, due to agricultural changes resulting in a loss of shifting systems, lack of disturbance by livestock and increased rates of succession. By the 1980s it was confined to one site in West Sussex with less than 100 individuals and was expected to go extinct.
In 1992, a programme of reintroductions commenced to sites across Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, funded by English Nature’s Species Recovery Programme. In 2010 RSPB contributed to this programme by translocating field crickets, under license from Natural England, to an area of restored heathland on RSPB’s Farnham Heath reserve, thereby extending the occupied range. This was very successful with a population of over 300 individuals becoming established in just 6 years.
Since 2017we have been building on this work through the National Lottery Heritage funded Back from the Brink programme, by establishing a second colony at Farnham Heath, restoring heathland at RSPB’s Pulborough Brooks reserve, and establishing a new colony there, to increase the robustness of the local population.