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100 volunteers to open new Foxearth Meadows Nature Reserve

PUBLISHED: 10:49 05 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:49 05 May 2017

Foxearth Meadows Nature Reserve. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Foxearth Meadows Nature Reserve. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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Nature lovers will open a new meadow on the Essex-Suffolk border which is believed to be the only nature reserve managed primarily for dragonflies.

Foxearth Meadows Nature Reserve. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDFoxearth Meadows Nature Reserve. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

A hundred people will cut a 100m-long ribbon at Foxearth Meadows on Saturday, May 13. Organisers hope the event could prove popular enough to encourage people to set up a Friends of Foxearth Meadows Group that would help support the new reserve.

The reserve site is run by Christian nature conservation charity A Rocha UK.

The charity bought the Foxearth Meadows Nature Reserve in 2015 and since then reserve manager Mark Prina has led a team of volunteers to get the 11-acre site ready for launch.

It is also hoped the area could be a leading site dragonfly study.

Foxearth. Picture: TUDOR MORGAN-OWENFoxearth. Picture: TUDOR MORGAN-OWEN

“Habitat loss and climate change mean Foxearth Meadows is already a refuge for depleted wildlife,” said Mr Prina.

“Places like this will enable our countryside to return to a richer natural environment.”

The visitors will each cut their own section of the eco-friendly ribbon. They will be able to take that part away with them as a souvenir of the official opening.

The launch event will see a number of activities on offer, including stalls selling local produce and others offering information from churches and conservation groups.

A quiz trail, pond dipping, bird ringing and guided walks are among activities planned.

Organisations due to attend the launch include the British Dragonfly Society, the Environment Agency and Essex Wildlife Trust – with more still to be confirmed.

The official opening will run from 12-4pm.

A Rocha UK hope the event will raise the reserve’s profile and recruit new volunteers – leading to the creation of a ‘Friends of Foxearth Meadows’ group.

“For its size, Foxearth Meadows is Britain’s richest site for dragonflies and damselflies with 21 species recorded to date,” said conservation director Andy Lester.

“It has the potential to be the leading small site for the study of these amazing creatures.’

Based in West London, A Rocha UK is a national charity committed to helping churches and communities care for the natural world.

To find out more, visit the website.

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