Scientists working with the Natural History Museum (NHM) are calling for volunteers to help with a remarkable new survey coming to green spaces in Croydon and Bromley.

The Big Bug Hunt is taking place Tuesday, June 8-Wednesday June 9 and hopes to survey insect populations at the Hutchinson's Bank and Chapel Bank nature reserve on the southern fringes of Croydon and Bromley.

To do that the scientists involved are hoping to recruit some budding volunteers who will gain fascinating insights into the scientific process and help further our knowledge about insect populations, animal DNA and how we can best preserve south London green spaces like Hutchinson's Bank.

"NHM scientists are asking the public to get involved with the Big Bug Hunt and learn pioneering sampling techniques from the scientists themselves," a spokesperson said.

"The information gathered from these surveys will help to make informed decisions on how best to conserve chalk grassland nature reserves, and help scientists understand what it is about these sites that makes them so good for wildlife."

Described as a "free course" by NHM, organisers said anyone aged 16 and over can apply and book a place on one of the two survey days for some real life field experience.

Many insect populations across the world are declining at an alarming rate according to various scientific reports on the matter, and finding out how we can best protect them and their habitats is fast becoming imperative.

That's because insects make up an absolutely essential part of the Earth's wider ecosystems, and their declining numbers could lead to a "catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems" according to one vast study published in 2019 that found they are on course for extinction if current decline rates continue.

Researchers point out that insects, by far the most numerous and varied of all animals, are "essential" for the functioning of all ecosystems in various ways such as being food for other creatures, pollinating plants, and recycling nutrients.