Nationally noted as one of the premier dragonfly sites in Britain, this
tranquil and popular gravel-based stream is fed from the boggy springs
of Beaulieu Common. The area also contains 4 seasonal ponds and several
boggy areas upstream. Crockford is one of the best sites to observe the
spectacular Golden-ringed Dragonfly and rare Southern Damselfly, as well
as the Beautiful Demoiselle among it's 28 observed species. It's close
proximity to the coast means that the Hairy Dragonfly is a occasional visitor.
The main area of activity is the
clearing. The open stream is usually patrolled by Golden-ringed in season along with other species such as Beautiful Demoiselles and Keeled Skimmers. The banks of the stream has many Bog Myrtle bushes which are the preferred habitat for Southern and Small Red Damselflies. Be sure to explore every inch of the gorse thicket to the south of the stream for perched dragonflies.
It's possible to more or less follow the main stream NW to
Two Bridges Bottom where there is a large pond worth exploring, but for me the open pools
ford and the stream leading down from
Deep Moor are superior, as is the whole stream from the ford to
Upper Crockford Bottom. It's also worth taking some time to explore the
lower reaches of the stream for quieter observation.
I'm spring this season I paid a
visit and was very disappointed to find that they've
done some extensive clearing; to the point that the
above view is no longer a true representation, but I
will leave it here for the time being, to remind us all
how it was.
The view above is of the key clearing
which is now totally unrecognisable. Those trees in the
background are gone, and so is all the surrounding
scrub. I have raided concerns about the level of work
carried out and have been answered that it is to the
benefit of the Southern Damselfly.
tell I guess, and it will be interesting to see if the
same level of odo populations are still so abundant
after clearing their safe refuges and feeding grounds.
I've certainly found more Southern and Small Red
damselflies feeding and resting among the now razed
The area is host to ground-nesting birds in spring and early summer.
For early season park at
Norley Inclosure or
Crockford Clump and
are open from August 1st.