Looking to the future
Staff and volunteers from the BDS and Natural Resources Wales are drawing up a wish list of priority practical projects to carry out for Southern Damselfly. These projects will then be planned in outline and costed, before agreement is sought from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and relevant landowners.
Due to insufficient grazing pressure over a number of years, practical restoration and new habitat creation work has become necessary at many sites. Manipulation using mechanical diggers is now required to restore former habitat because in many cases the habitat has gone beyond the stage where it can be restored by grazing alone. Landowner permission will be sought well in advance for all of the proposed projects and will have the proviso that the graziers are also happy with the work to be carried out. Further grants will then be sought to fund individual projects.
In addition to practical projects that will restore shallow water conditions and slow flows across sites, the BDS is keen to work with local partners, landowners and graziers to improve the grazing situation for the benefit of Southern Damselfly wherever possible. This will allow sites to be maintained more naturally into the future, but encouraging more intensive grazing is not straight forward. As detailed in the Southern Damselfly Management Plan written by the BDS in 2012, there are many hurdles to overcome to achieve this. The BDS is however hopeful that better grazing regimes will be achieved within a few years.
The projects that have been carried out so far have all been supported by the landowners and graziers and without the continued support of these, the NRW and the PCNPA, successful conservation of the Southern Damselfly in the future will not be possible. The successful partnership projects at Penlan, Brynberian Moor and Pensarn Corner bode well for the future of Southern Damselfly conservation in and around the Preseli SAC.