The River Mude supports a small, relic population of southern damselfly that is vulnerable to decline or extinction on account of its small size and very localised distribution. FiveRivers were instructed by the Hinton Admiral Estate to design and create new habitat in proximity to the existing River Mude population to allow species translocations to take place that will be carried out under licence and in full agreement with Natural England. The purpose of the translocations is to expand the distribution of the species and increase numbers in the local area, thereby improving the resilience of the species to change.
To create, improve and optimise localised habitat for the existing River Mude population of Southern Damselfly, extending its range into new habitat and supporting the establishment of a new population to increase genetic diversity. Southern Damselfly has been listed as endangered in the British Odonata Red List since 2008 and are legally protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
We sought to replicate the silty and slow-moving habitat characteristics required by southern damselfly at 2 locations within Burton Common SSSI, Shears Brook and Watery Lane Ditch. The clearing of trees will help to reduce canopy cover and over time, increase inundation of the adjacent grassland and heathland areas. Widening of the watercourses, creating extensive flushed areas and pools using log jams will replicate the slow-moving base-rich runnels and streams considered a key habitat preference of the Southern Damselfly.
Works are complete and shortly we will see the population increase it’s carrying capacity for southern damselfly within the water courses feeding into the River Mude.