Dragonflies at rare wetland site
Part of Hanson Bath & Portland Stone's Broadcroft Quarry on Portland has become a wetland reserve after clay was extracted from the quarry floor, exposing the natural water source and creating shallow ponds. The ponds are one of the few sources of standing fresh water on the island.
The habitat among the reeds and rushes in the ponds is being used by 16 species of dragonfly. One species, the Red Veined Darter dragonfly, has not been known to breed in Britain since the 1940s; it was last recorded as breeding in Dorset over 80 years ago. Several others, such as the Migrant Hawker and the Broad Bodied Chaser, are quite rare in Portland.
The Dorset Wildlife Trust has appointed a project officer to manage the area, partly paid for by a grant from the Hanson Environment Fund.
When quarrying stopped at Broadcroft eight years ago, Hanson started work with Dorset Butterfly Conservation to set up an 18-acre butterfly reserve. The quarry face is already a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Broadcroft has been declared a Site of Nature Conservation Interest, which means that Dorset Wildlife Trust would be consulted on any planning issues affecting the site.