DRAGONFLIES and damselflies are thriving at a Wyre Forest nature reserve this year thanks to favourable conditions.

Wet weather has left plenty of standing water at Hartlebury Common, near Stourport, and this has led to the presence of 14 types of the insect at the Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Mike Averill, county representative for Worcestershire at the British Dragonfly Society, said: “Dragonflies must have standing water for two to three years running to complete their life cycle as they spend most of their life in water as larvae before emerging into the incredible flying machines that we see on a sunny day in summer.

“This year we have seen 14 different sorts of dragonfly and damselfly which is close to the number expected for such a great site. At its best the area could have 18 or more including the species that prefer this unusual habitat known as a lowland heath.

“Unfortunately the site has had a history of becoming dry for several years on the run and so the present situation is likely to end if we return to drier spells.

“Hopefully Worcestershire County Council who own the site and their advisor Natural England can press ahead with plans to secure the water levels at the site so that we can continue to enjoy more colourful aerial displays at Hartlebury.

"Dragonflies are most conspicuous from May to August but there is still a chance to see activity in September if members of the public pick a warm sunny day.

"To find the best place for viewing walk in to the common from the car park opposite the garden centre on the Stourport to Crossway Green road and the Rush Pool is to the right."