More than 300 people celebrated the opening of Britain's only nature reserve managed primarily for dragonflies on Saturday.
The opening of A Rocha UK's Foxearth Meadows started with more than 150 local residents cutting a 100-metre-long ‘eco-ribbon’ to launch this 'perfect’ place for nature.
Politicians, conservationists, church leaders and families were united in this packed one-day programme to welcome Britain’s only nature reserve managed primarily for dragonflies.
"What a fantastic way to do a ribbon-cutting ceremony," said Braintree MP James Cleverly.
"Never before have I seen community engage like this in the opening of a site for wildlife." Foxearth Meadows Nature Reserve is on the Essex-Suffolk border.
Other guests included – Sudbury Deputy Town Mayor Sue Ayres, Sudbury Methodist minister Rev John Boardman and Braintree District Council’s Deputy Leader Wendy Schmitt.
It was Wendy who described the 11-acre site as ‘perfect’ after a previous visit there.
"It’s somewhere beautiful for local residents to commune with nature," said Wendy, who is Cabinet Member for Environment and Place.
"It’s a unique piece of landscape."
Other organisations took part such as – Essex Wildlife Trust, British Dragonfly Society, Butterfly Conservation, Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Environment Agency, Suffolk Beekeepers Association and Essex Birdwatching Society.
Activities included – quiz trail, pond dipping, guided walks and wild art workshop.
"We put everything into the day," said Reserve Manager Mark Prina.
"And the result was everything we could’ve hoped for."
A Rocha UK is a national charity committed to helping churches and communities care for the natural world