Rare Norfolk dragonfly sets up home at Little Paxton

Norfolk Hawker

Norfolk Hawker - Credit: Archant

A RARE dragonfly has set up home at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve at Little Paxton.

The British Dragonfly Society has confirmed that a new breeding population of Norfolk Hawker dragonflies has been found at the reserve – the first breeding site to be discovered outside of Norfolk and Suffolk since the Hawkers were lost from the Cambridgeshire fens 120 years ago.

President of the British Dragonfly Society Dr Pam Taylor said: “The Norfolk Hawker is an endangered dragonfly protected by law, so the discovery of a totally new population is very exciting indeed. The main threats to the species in its Norfolk Broads and coastal Suffolk habitats are sea level rise and saline intrusion into freshwater dykes and ditches. The discovery of a new inland site, well protected from these threats, could help to preserve the future of Norfolk Hawkers in the UK.”

The first sighting of Norfolk Hawker moving back to Cambridgeshire came two years ago when a male was seen at Hayling Lake at Paxton Pits. Last year a female was seen on the neighbouring Rudd Lake and this season the sightings have come from Potton Wood in Bedfordshire.

Further searches have found 26 Norfolk Hawkers at Hayling Lake – if they return to breed again later this month, it could secure the future of Norfolk Hawkers in Cambridgeshire.