This beautiful, semi-aquatic fish eating spider was discovered in 1956 at Redgrave and Lopham Fen near Diss on the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk at the source of the River Waveney. It lives in the margins of pools originally dug for peat and is dependent on the saw sedge found there.
Over subsequent decades survival of this species has been threatened through degradation of its wetland habitat due to water extraction and pig and poultry farm pollution. A species recovery program was initiated in 1991 by Natural England and systematic monitoring and habitat management has since been established overseen by Dr Helen Smith. More information can be obtained from its dedicated websitewww.dolomedes.org.uk
Arts Council England awarded a grant to work alongside this conservation project. The residency is also supported by Suffolk Wildlife Trust and the BBC Wildlife Fund. Local groups and schoolchildren will engage with printmaking workshops at Redgrave and Lopham Fen and Carlton Marsh Education Centre. An exhibition of work will be mounted at each venue.
I am also working with The Natural History Museum, Buglife, The British Arachnological Society and Little Ouse Headwaters Project.