My hubby took these amazing photos of this spider he saw in our garden today. I have never seen one of these spiders before and my first reaction was to find out what kind of spider it was and to determine if it was poisonous. Its called a wasp spider and no they aren't poisonous. They are pretty much ground dwelling spiders so why this one was hanging from the arch of a rose arbor is anyones guess, although if you look closely you will see this spider only has 7 legs - so maybe she had experienced an encounter from an enemy and was beating a swift retreat? They eat grasshoppers and other insects , make weird shape webs, live in the South of England only (usually) and the female is 4 times the size of the male. By the size of this spider I would say it was female. The female also eats the male after mating - not so hot for Mr Wasp Spider but then Mrs spider dies in the winter anyway.
Its a pretty frightening spider to find I can tell you but I am quite thrilled to have it living close to us because they are so unusual and protected in Belgium - but not in England - odd!