Some spiders build intricate sticky webs to trap prey, others disguise or camouflage themselves and lie in wait for prey but the wolf spider (Pardosa amentata) goes hunting. This is a species one will normally find on the ground where it hunts ground-living small invertebrates. It can run very quickly and can be difficult to identify as it scurries around looking for prey. It is at home in a wide variety of habitats, especially leaf litter in woodlands but also very common amongst the heather on our heaths.
The Pardosa family is common across much of northern Europe and my field guide contains details of sixteen different species in this family most of which it describes as 'common' but many are localised meaning there are a lot of them where they occur but they do not occur everywhere. This species is one of the most widespread.
This particular species of wolf spider is actually quite small but the female carries her egg sac around with her (that is the grey area that you can see in my photo) and so can appear bigger than they actually are. Once the spiderlings hatch they are carried around on the females back for a few days. They produce two or three egg sacs a year.