What an awesome creature! Scale the whole thing up and put that ‘horn’ on the front and you’d have a formidable weapon of war.
But actually, that’s its egg laying device at the back, and this is a female dark bush cricket (or so we think). You can’t really see in the photo, but she did have a lovely green underside which was quite a colour contrast to the rest of the armour.
The Wildlife Trusts say bush crickets are common from May to November in gardens, along hedgerows and woodland edges, at least in southern Britain. The females lay eggs into bark or rotting wood, and the adults take 18 months to mature – so there are effectively two leap-frogging generations that don’t meet.
Crickets are the sound of high summer, and there’s plenty of that around this year. If you want to see them, check out bramble bushes along the edges of the lodge field or the turbine field. The males hold territories here. Of if you’re just happy to hear them, sit back on your veranda of an evening and enjoy!