Suburban demoiselles

Buxford Meadow, on the outskirts of Ashford, epitomises what the Wild Sites project is all about. This small, wildlife-rich site in the suburb of Singleton, really is nature on the doorstep Рan urban wildlife gem a short walk from a population of thousands.

It’s this Local Nature Reserve’s combination of habitats that makes it so abundant in plants, insects, birds and reptiles – a lovely old wet meadow stands next to wet woodland and a large pond. Two watercourses – Buxford Dyke and the River Stour wind through the whole thing, bringing river corridor to the mix. It was along the Stour that we started our photography workshop at the end of July, where a very healthy population of banded demoiselles thrives. This species is surely one of the most beautiful insects in Britain.

A move to the pond later in the afternoon, brought sightings of brown hawker and emperor dragonfly and more dameslflies such as common blue. A sharp-eyed participant got a photo of a white admiral butterfly Рa first for this site and an unexpected bonus to the day.