Froglife’s valued volunteers were rewarded last month with the first sightings of the Willow Emerald Damselfly, a species new to Peterborough. Volunteer dragonfly recorder Trisha Thompson has been diligently searching for dragonflies and damselflies on Boardwalks Nature Reserve this year and had found a male Willow Emerald resting on a willow branch by the western pond (pictured). This species migrated to the UK from the continent and its original UK stronghold was in the south east but it has been gradually moving northwards and westwards. The vice county recorder for the area; Mark Tyrrell visited and also confirmed and logged the sighting.
Froglife has managed the Boardwalks Reserve to improve habitat for wildlife on behalf of the Peterborough City Council for wildlife since 2015. Froglife’s Heritage Lottery Funded River Nene Dragon Finder Project carried out the restoration, de-siltation and creation of 18 ponds in 2015. Some trees have been removed to let in more light and to reduce the amount of leaf litter falling into ponds. This year Froglife are installing new infrastructure including way markers for a nature trail, interpretation boards and benches. Following advice from local experts and the British Dragonfly Society, Froglife are continuing to remove trees casting shade over the western pond this autumn whilst ensuring some willows remain in situ as egg laying sites for the newest arrivals. Froglife volunteers gather to record dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies on Boardwalks on Wednesdays, so if you want to catch a glimpse of this newcomer, now’s your chance! For more info on joining us please visit: www.froglife.org/events/