When Nigel and I were checking out his Willow Emerald Damselfly site Nigel showed me a nursery web complete with many spiderlings of the very rare Fen Raft Spider. Nearby was the mother keeping a caring and watchful eye or eight on them.
This species is extremely rare with only 3 known sites in the UK of natural populations. Conservation groups have recently introduced the spider to new areas to try to preserve them, but the best site in the UK is local to us at Pevensey Levels.
Most years we both spend a lot of time on the Levels searching out these cracking creatures, but due to the restrictions etc this year these are the only ones that I've seen this year.
The Fen Raft Spider should not be confused with the more common Raft Spider (Dolomedes fimbriatus) as that species inhabit acid pools mainly on heathland.
Female Fen Raft Spider ( Dolomedes plantarius )
My thanks to Nigel for finding these.