Who would have thought that the remnants from the industrial revolution would develop into some of the most important wildlife and dragonfly habitat in the country. Gone are the days of polluted water and industrial filth, to be replaced with some of the most secluded waterways in the country.
There are over 2000 miles of navigable canals but there are many more miles that are not open to boating that offer superb breeding conditions for dragonflies and damselflies. Canals that are least used for leisure purposes will be the most profitable for the dragonfly spotter and photographer. Canals are usually classed as stillwater however many have a flow which means there can be a cross over between species associated with those type of waters.
The Basingstoke Canal is close to where I live and you are able to see Brown and Southern Hawkers patrolling over the waters surface, perching occasionally to consume their prey. The Hairy Dragonfly is also an early season resident, although somewhat localised. Common and the occasional Ruddy Darter can be seen later in the season. The White Legged Damselfly is spreading and I have now located several breeding pockets where they can be seen in quite large numbers along with Blue Tailed, Common Blue, Large Red and Red Eyed varieties. Also present are both Demoiselles.