Exciting things are happening here. Over the next few years, many new initiatives will establish Foxearth Meadows as the UK’s only nature reserve managed primarily for dragonflies and damselflies.
In February 2015, A Rocha UK became proud owners of this reserve on the Essex/Suffolk border. The 11-acre site used to be farmland. In more recent years, it was managed by A Rocha UK supporters Keith and Maureen Morris. Following Keith’s death, A Rocha UK was able to buy the site, thanks to Maureen’s generosity.
Foxearth Meadows is already home to many dragonfly and damselfly. We’ve recorded 21 different species. That’s a significant number, given the size of the site.
Known as ‘Odonata’, these large, brightly coloured insects are one of the best indicators of a pristine natural environment. They feed on other insect species and favour quiet, sunny and secluded sites. Odonata are also sensitive to climate change. The arrival of new species in the country points to a warming climate.
Management is key to their success. Our Reserve Manager supports a blend of open water, shaded pools, reed beds and healthy plant life for these insects. Other plants and creatures flourish in this environment.
Several threatened bird species reside here – including the hobby – a small falcon. Not surprisingly, its favourite food is dragonflies. A warm July day sees three or more hobby ‘hawking’ in the sky. Without dragonflies, hobbies would be in trouble. Foxearth Meadows is also home to nightingale, a bird with the most incredible song.
It’s important that people have access to enjoy nature’s bounty here. We’re building a new car park so the reserve can be safely accessed. New habitat for Odonata will be created, and a boardwalk is planned for guests with disabilities.
Our message? Come along!