One-hundred local nature lovers will open Foxearth Meadows – Britain’s only nature reserve managed primarily for dragonflies.
A 100-metre-long ribbon will be cut on the new reserve – run by Christian nature conservation charity A Rocha UK – on May 13.
The charity purchased the meadows in 2015, with reserve manager Mark Prina leading a small army of volunteers to get the 11-acre site ready for the launch.
“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.”
Conservation director Andy Lester added: “For its size, Foxearth Meadows is Britain’s richest site for dragonflies and damselflies with 21 species recorded to date.
“It has the potential to be the leading small site for the study of these amazing creatures.”
The official launch day will feature a quiz trail, pond dipping, bird ringing and guided walks.
There will be a number of stalls selling local produce and offering information from churches and conservation groups.
Organisations to be represented include the British Dragonfly Society, Environment Agency and Essex Wildlife Trust – with more to be confirmed.
The official opening will run from midday to 4pm. The charity is hoping the event will raise the reserve’s profile and lead to the recruitment of new volunteers so a Friends of Foxearth Meadows group can be formed.