Special status for ‘tranquil haven’ where dragonflies thrive

Mark Prina, reserve manager at Foxearth Meadows Nature Reserve. Picture: ROSS BENTLEY

Mark Prina, reserve manager at Foxearth Meadows Nature Reserve. Picture: ROSS BENTLEY - Credit: Archant

A nature reserve described as a “tranquil haven” near to the Suffolk/Essex border has scooped a special status as one of the region’s best areas for wildlife.

Foxearth Meadows, near to Sudbury, has been designated as a Local Wildlife Site (LoWS) – less than a year after its official opening.

The 11 acre reserve, owned and run by Christian charity A Rocha UK, features ponds, wetland meadows, ditches, scrub and woodland, and recently installed new cycle racks to encourage more bike riders to visit.

MORE: Foxearth Meadows - a paradise for dragonflies and damselfliesIt is thought to be the only site in the country being managed primarily for dragonflies and damselflies.

John More, local wildlife and sites officer for Essex Wildlife Trust has praised the charity for gaining the designation.

“The designation is recognition of the significant conservation interest Foxearth Meadows holds – and acknowledges that the site is of county significance,” he added.

“The selection of LoWS is based on the most important, distinctive and threatened species and habitats within a national, regional and local context. This makes them some of our most valuable wildlife areas.”

Mr More described Foxearth Meadows as “a tranquil haven for wildlife and people” as he congratulated A Rocha UK for attaining this special status. “In simple terms, Foxearth Meadows is a great site,” he added.

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Welcoming Mr More’s observations, Foxearth Meadows reserve manager Mark Prina said the status is a “stepping stone” to becoming a site of special scientific interest. Then it would be protected by law to conserve its wildlife.

“Much of the LoWS recognition is focused on the dragonfly aspect,” said Mr Prina.

“We’ve recorded 22 species on the site. That’s phenomenal.”

Mr Prina said he hopes the new status and cycle racks will draw more visitors.

“We also want to promote sustainable forms of transport,” he added.

“We hope our cycle racks will encourage those who are able to leave the car at home.”

More than 300 people celebrated the opening of Foxearth Meadows in spring 2017.

The reserve has featured on BBC’s Countryfile programme.

A Rocha UK carries out practical nature conservation and education with local communities to motivate others to care for the environment.

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