Panshanger Park’s Dragonfly Trail and ponds are the ideal place to spot all manner of dragonfly and damselfly as the species emerge in abundance.
Dragonflies and damselflies can usually be seen from May all the way through the summer and into the autumn, with some still flying as late as November. and already this season common blue damselfly, blue-tailed damselfly, large red damselfly, banded demoiselle, hairy dragonfly and four spotted chaser have been seen in the Park.
The Dragonfly Trail, alongside Opsrey Lake, includes a viewing platform over one of the ponds that were created as part of the quarry restoration in 2002. The platform provides a perfect place to see both dragonflies and damselflies as they fly over the water holding territories and catching smaller insects. Pairs can also often be seen mating and laying their eggs in the water.
Panshanger Park is the second best site in the county for dragonflies and damselflies, being home to 18 of the 19 regularly recorded species seen in Hertfordshire. A dragonfly identification board by the viewing platform helps visitors to recognise the varieties they might see.
The ponds on the Dragonfly Trail were re-opened up by Panshanger’s team and local volunteers over the winter of 2015/2016 having become overgrown with bulrushes. The open water habitat once again provides somewhere for these colourful insects to feed and breed.
Image: Migrant Hawker dragonfly Aug 13 Tim Hill