Since acquiring their own nature reserve, A Rocha UK have been sending specialists to inspect the 12-acre Foxearth site.
A new steering group has been created, consisting of a number of local people. Church leaders to ecologists all have input into the project.
The group visited the site in early May, to start thinking about how they can collectively use their skills to support the development of Britain’s first official dragonfly and damselfly reserve.
Two weeks later, Conservation Director Andy Lester (pictured – photo by Becky Vickers) led a team of three ecologists to carry out an initial survey of plants, birds and small mammals.
‘Perhaps the highlight of the survey was a pair of Nightingales on territory, singing while two Hobby flew overhead,’ said Andy, ‘or maybe it was watching the first large red damselfly emerge and take to the wing.’
A local contractor has cut the paths to enable ease of access for members of the public round the site. Conversations have already started with local farmers and landowners to look at opportunities for collaboration. ‘There’s a real sense of momentum,’ Andy explained.
Generous A Rocha UK supporters had raised £55,000 to secure this special space for creation care and contemplation. With two ponds and a river, the site lies in a Biodiversity Action Plan priority area for freshwater marshlands.
Nestled between north Essex and Suffolk, Foxearth is also inside a target area for Higher Level Stewardship. Plotting it nationally, it’s 70 miles from Central London, 130 miles from Birmingham and 250 miles from Manchester.