A nature-lover has recorded 573 different species of insect, bird, plant and animal life in his “ordinary-sized” city garden during a three-year wildlife survey.
Paul Rule took part in a study set up in 2016 by the Cambridge Natural History Society to discover the extent of the city’s flora and fauna.
He favourite find was a “strange-looking bug” called asiraca clavicorni.
The society is currently analysing the survey results from 64 gardens.
Finds include previously unknown evidence of several badger setts within a mile of the city’s Market Square.
Mr Rule, 66, whose garden is about 330 sq m (3,552 sq ft), said: “I wasn’t expecting to find so much in this quite ordinary-sized garden but I got carried away.
“When I see anything I don’t know, I want to identify it.”
During the period of the survey he recorded 548 species, but has added another 25 during lockdown.
The retired BT engineer has always been interested in wildlife, particularly “anything with six or eight legs”, and was able to record 412 insects, including 272 species of moths.
“When it came to the insects, I used the internet and local experts – and I have a shelf full of wildlife reference books,” he said.
“I also had a plant survey done – and 87 plants were added the list, including 26 species of moss.”
Mammal visitors include a fox, hedgehogs and bats, while all the common garden bird species such as blackbirds, wrens, robins and goldfinches have been counted.
The project, which hopes to raise public awareness of the diversity of wild animals and plants in the city, closed in December.