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Project information

Foxearth Community Nature Reserve

A Rocha UK will manage Foxearth Nature Reserve for dragonfly and damselfly conservation and to create a biodiverse wetland habitat. We are currently working to create the facilities for school visits and community education. We hope that local people will reconnect and be inspired by nature.

One year

Charity information: A Rocha UK

A Rocha UK logo
  • Need


    Dragonflies and damselflies are in great need of help; over a third of the UK's native species are in long-term decline, and very few areas in the UK are managed specifically for their conservation. We have the opportunity to manage a 'hotspot' for these incredible creatures, and without this management, the ponds and wetlands will be taken over by scrub and trees, losing valuable habitat for dragonflies and damselflies.


    Foxearth will be managed to enhance dragonfly and damselfly habitat and to increase the biodiversity of the site. We will be able to provide a home for over 20 species of native UK damselflies and dragonflies - that's nearly 50% of the UK species! Working with the British Dragonfly Society, we will conduct best practice conservation and education on-site.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Conduct best-practice dragonfly and damselfly conservation


    » hire a qualified and experienced conservation officer for the site
    » develop a conservation management plan with support of the British Dragonfly Society

    What success will look like

    Success will be the hiring of a conservation officer and creating visitor facilities and public access to the site.

    Aim 2

    provide fun and interactive educational opportunities


    » develop a community education programme for local organisations, schools, social groups and churches

    What success will look like

    Success will be 95% of visitors enjoying their experience and learning something new.

    Aim 3

    establish a place for rest and relaxation for visitors


    » establish accessible walkways and access for the general public

    What success will look like

    Make the site accessible to visitors.

  • Impact


    Enhanced habitat for dragonflies and damselflies will increase their numbers onsite, which will be measured through regular species surveys. Awareness of the need for conservation of dragonflies and damselflies will increase among visiting school children, groups and local residents, which will be evaluated through feedback forms.


    Poor weather conditions may delay work on the site.


    We will produce an annual species recording report which will be published on our website as well as sent to donors through our newsletters. We will keep them up to date on the site progress through updates and news items on our website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £29,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £6,000 Conservation officer Increase the hours of our dedicated conservation officer to lead conservation management activities
      £5,000 Equipment and expenses travel costs, tools, training and other expenses to help with conservation work onsite
      £18,000 Boardwalks providing access through the NW section of the site
  • Background


    Foxearth is a site near a small village of the same name in Essex. It is within easy reach of London, Ipswich, Luton and other urban areas in East England, and it could provide a wonderful wildlife escape for urban children and families. This site is adjacent to Glemsford Pits Site of Special Scientific Interest. The entire area is a Biodiversity Action Plan priority area for freshwater marshlands. It lies inside a target area for Higher Level Stewardship and is an Nitrate Sensitive Area.


    Habitat enhancement and management is a priority with the Foxearth site, so dragonflies and damselflies will benefit. Local residents will have volunteering and educational opportunities. Anyone interested will be able to visit (youth groups, schools, conservation scientists, researchers, etc). Additionally, there will be opportunities to have inner-city youth visit the site and learn more about British countryside and wildlife.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have worked closely with the previous landowner in the acquisition of the land, and therefore have connections with the local churches, schools and other individuals in the community, which will provide a network for local volunteers. We are well connected with the British Dragonfly Society and Natural England to support the conservation work. We have experts within the organisations in dragonfly and damselfly conservation who will provide leadership and advice.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Andy Lester

    Conservation Director, Chartered Environmentalist, who will oversee the progress and direction of all elements of the project.