A nature enthusiast and runner is running 50 of the highest tors on Dartmoor to mark her 50th birthday and to raise funds for a rare moorland beetle.

Claire Hyne, of Moretonhampstead, who turns 50 in May, said: “This year I will be turning 50 and I hope to have run the 50 highest tors on Dartmoor, with my dog Fitz to raise money for the Blue Ground Beetle Project, which I volunteer for.

“The Blue Ground Beetle or Carabus Intricatus, is a nocturnal beetle found in the ancient woodlands on Dartmoor. Adults can grow to 3cm long and they have long wiry limbs to help them climb up trees to find their prey. They have large protruding jaws so they can capture slugs and suck out their insides!

“There’s still a lot we need to learn about the ecology of the Blue Ground Beetle, and its habitat requirements. The chair Buglife's South West Blue Ground Beetle project will improve understanding of the extent and health of populations of the beetle, undertaking surveys within ancient woodland fragments across Devon and Cornwall. By better understanding the ecology and locations of the Blue Ground Beetle Buglife can help conserve these populations for the future.

Laura Larkin, of Buglife, said: “We're really pleased that Claire has decided to celebrate her milestone birthday by raising funds for our work on Blue Ground Beetle. There's still a lot we need to learn about the ecology of the beetle and its habitat requirements, and the money raised by Claire will help to fund additional surveys for the beetle at sites across Dartmoor.”

Blue Ground Beetles were believed extinct in the UK until 1994 when a population of them was discovered in a woodland on Dartmoor.  They are known from 15 sites in the UK, eight of these are on Dartmoor.

They make their homes in damp, deciduous, often ancient, woodlands of Oak and Beech; usually living on south-facing slopes in areas with sparce ground vegetation and abundant veteran trees and dead wood.  Claire can be sponsored through Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/page/claire-hyne-50in50th

Carabus intricatus Blue Ground Beetle.
Carabus intricatus Blue Ground Beetle. (Laura Larkin of Buglife)