Welcome to DUMP!

The Dung beetle UK Mapping Project is hosted by the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (OUMNH). DUMP has been set up by a small team of people passionate about UK dung beetle ecology and conservation. Our aims are to:

  • Highlight the ecological, conservation and economic importance of dung beetles
  • Validate dung beetle identifications from Museum collections across the UK
  • Map historic and present day dung beetle distributions across the country using specimen data from Museum collections and by undertaking field surveys
  • Provide outreach education to the general public, raising awareness of UK dung beetles
  • Provide information on land and livestock management practices to the agricultural sector, livestock owners and land managers to encourage sympathetic management of dung fauna and flora.

DUMP team members are Darren J. Mann, Ceri Watkins, Sally-Ann Spence and Steve Lane. We all have specialist area’s as well as a general interest in poo and the beetles that are found within. Darren is one of the UK’s leading dung beetle experts, runs the National Recording Scheme for Scarabaeoidea (Dung beetles, stag beetles, chafers) and is Head of Life Collections at OUMNH. Ceri is a entomology graduate with an interest in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and biological recording and has kept horses for many years. Sally-Ann runs invertebrate educational workshops under the name of Minibeast Mayhem and keeps sheep, cattle and horses on her farm in Wiltshire. Steve is a freelance entomological consultant with over 30 years of experience. Thus far, team members have voluntarily donated time and resources in order to launch the project.

These pages will provide general information about the UK Dung fauna, highlight the conservation issues that face our dung beetles, provide identification tips to help you determine what’s in your patch and advice about how to submit good quality biological records that can be verified for the Scarabaeoidea Recording Scheme.

We will be sharing dung flavoured skills and knowledge across the land. Please hit the follow button on the right as well as checking us out on twitter for regular updates on Team DUMP activities. We may be poking around in a pile near you very soon!


Dung beetle Detectives Roadshow


This week we have received the most fantastic news – the British Ecological Society has awarded us an Outreach Grant! This means that we can now launch the Dung beetle Detectives Roadshow at a number of events throughout the summer.

The Roadshow will highlight biology, ecology, ecosystem function and services and demonstrate sampling techniques. Basic beetle anatomy will be covered and a range of pictorial identification aides will be available. Live and preserved adult and larval dung beetles, microscopes and demonstration survey equipment will also be available for people to have a look at and test. “Detectives” will be able to use this new found knowledge to recognise common dung beetle types (dwellers and tunnellers) and have a go at identifying some of our British species. Farm hosted events will include a guided walk to hunt for dung beetles.

There will be plenty of craft activities too including making dung beetles from paper plates and beetle pegs made with recycled materials. Participants will be able to take these items home to show off to all their friends and family.

We will be announcing the events soon, so please watch this space.