a small rove beetle found in the soil about half a centimetre or so
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That's Tachinus subterraneus, not uncommon but rarely seen, because it is active in the colder months and lives in the soil. As dshubble says, it is the subfamily tachyporinae.
Max Barclay, Beetle Curator, The Natural History Museum
Lat/Lng: 54.6, -5.9
OS grid ref: NW5433