RE. Spider found in Peak District
Intimidating B Smith? The Gorse bush it is on is a lot more intimidating!.
This spider is female and is called a Nursery-web Spider. The web she is on could be hers and spun to protect her live babies inside. She looks quit fat though almost as if she has not laid her eggs but if she is on her nursery web she must have done a while ago because she carries them around in a silk ball held in her jaws for a while before they hatch. Then she spins a web around her hatching spiderlings. She sits on or near the web to protect the babies inside.
Perhaps though the web is not anything to do with her but has been spun by another large spider that is often found on gorse Agelena labyrinthica and she is just sunbathing on it.
The spider is called Pisaura mirabilis and is very common in the UK. Pisaura are prettily marked in very varied patterns of light and dark browns and greys.
Yes, she is quite a big spider as they go in Britain but watch out in future though because there are some bigger spiders out there! Actually she will do you no harm at all.
Watch out more for prickly gorse bushes though as they can actually hurt!