Just 25 years ago, the Willow Emerald Damselfly had only been reliably recorded in the UK on 2 occasions, in 1979 and 1992. A single individual was then recorded in southeast Suffolk during 2007, followed in 2009 by a sudden boom of 400 records of the species from this same general area (SE Suffolk/NE Essex). Since this time, the Willow Emerald has spread rapidly across the south-east of England, gaining footholds in new counties on a yearly basis.
The natural colonisation and spread of this damselfly in the UK is incredible. It is important we track the species in order to understand how it is spreading so rapidly and what might limit the species in the future. For this reason, the British Dragonfly Society (BDS) have developed the ‘Willow Emerald Watch’ project.