A water company is changing the route of a new pipeline to save the Sussex home of a colony of rare glow worms.

Worthing-based Southern Water has agreed to re-route part of a pipeline it is constructing in a £5.7 million scheme to provide additional water supplies to the Mile Oak area of Hove.

Glow worms are not worms but a type of beetle, Latin name Lampyris noctiluca. The female attracts a mate by generating a powerful green glow.

The colony at Benfield is considered large by experts, with as many as 54 females recorded in one sighting.

Southern Water is installing a trunk mains water pipe along the northern edge of the A27 next to the Devil's Dyke interchange and within the Sussex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The course of the pipe was set to run through the glow worm colony, within Benfield Local Nature Reserve.

Its future has been secured following meetings between Southern Water, Sussex Downs Conservation Board, local interest groups and residents. Southern Water agreed to lay the pipeline to the south of the reserve.