On the 18th and 19th of October 2011, researchers, forestry workers, conservationists and ant experts gathered at The James Hutton Insititute for the Wood Ant Symposium, an event aimed at raising the profile of wood ants in the UK. This event was the first of its kind, being entirely devoted to wood ants and promoting the protection of their habitats through increased understanding of their ecology.
This two day event included 13 presentations with themes ranging from how ants tell friend from foe, to 30 years of research in the alps and threats to wood ants in the UK. On the second day there was a field trip to Glen Tanar estate on Deeside to see some wood ants up close and discover how land owners on the estate have been incorporating wood ants into their forest management scheme.
In addition, posters were presented on a range of wood ant related topics, including wood ant "guests" and wood ants under threat from development.
The event was supported by The James Hutton Institute (who hosted the event), Buglife, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Forestry Commission and not only attracted audiences from Scotland and England, but was also attended by researchers from Finland and Switzerland.