EAGLE-EYED volunteers in Dorset are on the hunt for one of the UK’s rarest insects.

The Species Recovery Trust is working with the National Trust and Dorset Wildlife Trust to train volunteers to track down the heath tiger beetle.

A grant of £3,870 from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery will allow the Species Recovery Trust to fund courses.

Volunteers will be trained to search heaths for the creatures, which are believed to survive only in Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex.

Dominic Price, director of the Species Recovery Trust said: “The heath tiger beetle is becoming increasingly rare in the UK.

“Thanks to People’s Postcode Lottery we can now train volunteers to help us track down this beetle.

“The more pairs of eyes we can get looking out for it, the greater chance we have of saving it.”

The first of these training courses was held in Dorset, with 17 volunteers in attendance and nine beetles found.

A subsequent course will take place in Sopley Common, Christchurch on Friday, July 1.

Amber Rosenthal, reserves officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “We’re looking forward to hosting the second course on our Sopley Common nature reserve.

“There is a good population of the beetle on our site but we don’t know much about the wider area. More people helping us seek out this key species across the county will be a real boost.”