The UK is seeing a rise in spiders that are the size of your hand and can walk on water.


A decade ago, the fen raft spider was close to extinction. But numbers of the UK’s rescue team have seen them thrive once more.

Experts have reported that spiders as large as human palms and capable of walking on water are increasing in popularity in the UK.

The largest spider species in Britain is now more common than ever, despite their extinction threatened a decade ago.

The fen raft spider has made a huge comeback.

Arachnophobes may be frightened by the idea, but it is good news that an endangered species has returned from the brink.

It is, however, completely harmless to humans, and it is unlikely that it lurks under your sofa.

A RSPB report this week stated that the numbers of semi-aquatic fen rafts – which have a leg span of over three inches – now exceed the thousands.

It is the largest of Britain’s 660 species.

Tim Strudwick, RSPB’s director of communications, said: “This is one of the UK’s rarest invertebrates, as beautiful as any, and we are really proud of the part our reserve and team has played in its recovery.

“The females are large and elegant, yet they can be quite intimidating for an arachnophobe like me.).”

The best chance of spotting them is in the wetland areas, such as RSPB Strumpshaw Fen in the Norfolk Broads.

Tim went on to say: “Although they can only be seen in the grazing ditch ditches, the spiders are very shy and hard to spot. They are most visible from June through September when the females have their young.”

The fen raft spider is a striking creature with a dark body and cream stripes down the side.

Video Loading

Video not available

Because of its high likelihood of extinction, it is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

A pioneering translocation project among conservation partners and funders – which also included the RSPB, British Arachnological Society (Suffolk and Sussex Wildlife Trusts), Natural England, and Broads Authority – has given the species a leg up.

There were only three populations of the species in the UK up to 2010. This makes it extremely vulnerable and puts the species at serious risk.

They were released on the RSPB reserve two years later in the hope of giving them a chance.

However, it took some time for significant changes to occur.

The number of nursery webs was just 184 in the July-October 2014 period.

The RSPB Ecology Report, released just recently, evaluated the condition of Britain’s wildlife, including the endangered fen raft.

It revealed that there were now thousands of females living in the Mid Yare of the Norfolk Broads.

According to the report, it’s now found in 111 squares of one-hectare at two fens along the Norfolk Broads.

Share this article

Recent posts

Popular categories

Recent comments