A BEETLE that is extinct in Britain except for a 30km stretch of the banks of the River Ouse around York has survived the winter and is now breeding in the city's Museum Gardens.

The Tansy Beetle, a bright green jewel of a beetle, used to be more widespread around the country, but factors including habitat loss have meant that it is now restricted to this small area.

Last year York Museums Trust worked with the Tansy Beetle Action Group (TBAG) to introduce them into the gardens.

Alison Pringle, gardens manager, said: "It is still very early days but the hard work of our gardens team and TBAG seems to have paid off, with a high number of the Tansy Beetles emerging in the spring and which are now breeding.

"With the eggs laid, they will soon disappear, with the new generation hopefully appearing later in August.

"The beetles have proved a real hit, with many people regularly coming to check up on their progress. It is great to see so much enthusiasm for this beetle which is a real icon of York's natural heritage."

The Tansy Beetles are living in a specially designed bed which features Tansy Beetle friendly plants, such as Tansy, which the beetles feed on.