Damselflies are brightly coloured insects who, like dragonflies, are acrobatic masters of the air as they hunt for their prey.
Damselflies are delicate and very thin and fold their wings back over their bodies at rest. You can sometimes spot clouds of them flitting over the water surface and amongst vegetation on sunny days. They feed mainly on mosquitoes, midges and larger insects.
The reed fringes of many of our canals and rivers provide excellent breeding sites and hunting grounds for damselflies - and the Canal & River Trust's maintenance programme involves the creation and improvement of canal banks with damselflies in mind.
In the past, any work on canal banks would have involved steel sheet piles. Today, with our greater emphasis on habitat creation, soft banks are created either using coir roles or hazel faggots. This allows the growth of reed fringes, ideal habitats for many species of insects, particularly damselflies.
The Canal & River Trust, formerly British Waterways, has been a supporter of the British Dragonfly Society for over ten years, during which time it has been a member of its steering group.