The most common animals on a heathland are invertebrates - insects and spiders. Many creatures also require the warmth that is made available by sunlight reaching the bare ground. Invertebrates have specialist requirements and are very sensitive to any changes in their habitat. Many spiders rely on plants like gorse and heather to build their webs. Their webs, often magnificent structures, are best seen in the morning when covered in dew. You may be lucky enough to see a raft spider (shown in the illustration above) which is the UK’s largest spider. It hunts prey in bogs by resting its front legs on the water

Bog bush crickets are grasshopper-like insects which eat purple moor grass in wet areas of heath. They are recognised by their long antennae and U-shaped light mark at the side of their head.

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