This is the diary of special events, courses, field trips and holidays. Further diary entries will be added as they become known so be sure to check back for additional events.
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The background colour of the date is used to show different types of meeting:
For those leading events, the current BDS Risk Assessment and Walk Guidelines can be downloaded here. Walk leaders are advised to adapt the Risk Assessment if necessary. Only those events sent to us in advance and displayed on our website are covered by BDS insurance. It's therefore worth checking that your event is displayed before it takes place. An event can be advertised as only for local group members or limited to bookings only. Many thanks for your cooperation.
A whole week of events celebrating dragonflies across the UK, starting with a special event at Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire on Saturday 21st July.
See the individual listings below for more details of events near you.
Conservation Officer, Ellie Colver
For nine days, a team of British Dragonfly Society volunteers will be pond-side at WWT’s London Wetland Centre ready to answer your Dragonfly questions. They will be offering ID tips and sharing lifecycle facts too.
In addition, there will be four guided Dragonfly walks at the Centre, each lasting 30 minutes and led by a BDS volunteer:
- Sunday 22nd July, 11:00am & 2:00pm.
- Friday 27th July, 11:00am & 2:00pm.
These walks are free with paid admission to the London Wetland Centre. They follow an easy route (starting in the Courtyard) and are weather dependent. Advance Booking is essential for these walks. Please call the London Wetland Centre on 020 8409 4400.
Whist walking, we hope to join the company of a lofty Emperor or two – Britain’s largest Dragonfly. We could be entranced by flitting Darters and patrolling Hawkers. Along the route, we may also surprise basking Skimmers and delight in the lily-pad dance moves of damselflies - the dragonfly’s smaller cousins. We could even spy the lovely Banded Demoiselle.
During the walk hear about the Dragonfly’s prehistoric origins. Hear of a life lived in two worlds and about their astounding powers of flight and sight. Learn too of their importance as freshwater ‘canaries’.
For seven days (21st – 24th and 27th – 29th July), the team will be joined by illustrator and artist Nina Lewis. As BDS illustrator-in-residence at WWT London Nina will be sketching in the field and showcasing her brand-new collection of dragonfly artworks. You can even exercise your own creative skills by colouring in one of Nina’s dragonfly line drawings!
Nina has a passion for creating intricate yet abstract water-colour illustrations, influenced by the beauty of nature, especially botanical and entomological forms. The delicacy of her imagery pushes her painting abilities to the limit, enabling her to find the balance between free form fluidity and detailed line work. To learn more about Nina go to: www.nillustration.co.uk
So, why not come to the London Wetland Centre during Dragonfly Week? Say hello to the team, see Nina at work and have a close encounter with those charismatic summertime spirits, the Dragonflies.
BDS helpers: contact Kevin Edge by email.
Visitors: contact WWT London (see details below.)
Dragonfly Week at LWC / London Wetland Centre for info on opening times, visitor charges, travel & facilities / Tel: 020 8409 4400
Dragonfly Identification Training & Guided Walk
Learn how to identify the Dragons & Damsels found within the Cairngorms National Park or join us for a Guided Walk around the ponds on the reserve.
Wayne Fitter 07795 590924 or Andrea Hudspeth 07960 391297
Training: 9am-10.30am, meet at the Aviemore Youth Hostel
Guided Walk: 11am-12pm, meet on the track by Loch Puladdern
Suitable clothing and footwear
A follow on course aimed at past participants on the ‘Beginners Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies’ course.
Essex Wildlife Trust Tel: 01621 862960
Start: 1:00pm Finish: 4:00pm
Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre,
Booking and more information here
A Dragonfly Walk round the moors guided by Helen Kirk of the Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum
Photo by Natural England
Keith Gittens, North East and North West Yorkshire County Dragonfly Recorder Tel:07903 449509
Thorne Retail Park, Ogden Road, Thorne, DN8 5UG. Situated just off Junction 6 of the M18 motorway. Grid Ref.: SE 678139. From here we will be driving on to Thorne Moor.
Register with Keith Gitterns (so we can make sure you don't get left behind).
Visitors are advised to wear stout footwear, even in the summer months the site can be very wet in parts. Visitors are also advised to bring insect repellent, protection from the sun, a packed lunch and drinks.
There are no facilities on site.
Dragonfly enthusiasts of all levels of ability are welcome to come along and learn more about these stunning insects. The day will start with a classroom session introducing this group of insects and focusing on their identification. We then head outside to the pools at the centre and hopefully introduce you close up to a good number of local species.
Workshop will be led by Sue Rees Evans (the County Dragonfly Recorder for Dragonflies in Shropshire for 7 years and Odonata Tsar for the Shropshire Ecological Data). Network.
Photo of Black-tailed Skimmer (female) by David Kitching
Bishops Wood Field Centre Tel: 01299 250513
Bishops Wood Field Centre. Crossway Green, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, DY13 9SEF
Wellies/walking boots and waterproofs as we will be venturing out! Total walking will be no more than 1km.
Dragonfly identification guides and hand lens if owned.
For those who wish, the latest ‘Field Guide to the damselflies and dragonflies of Britain and Ireland’ by D. Smallshire & A. Swash will be available for purchase at £17.95 (correct cash/cheque only).
The focus will be on late summer dragonflies at one of the prime sites in Devon. After lunch, optional visit to private ponds nearby to look for Small Red-eyed Damselfly.
Dave Smallshire Tel:01626 853393
Stover County Park Visitor Centre, Newton Abbot TQ12 6QG (SX833751; entrance off A382 to Newton Abbot, 300m from A38, 10 miles from M5)
Start 10:00. Finish by 16:00.
Bring lunch if staying for the afternoon.
Close-focus binoculars and wellies useful.
Advance booking not necessary.
Pay and display car park.
Field course led by Henry Curry, BDS Secretary.
Photo of Willow Emerald Damselfly (male) by Val Perrin.
BDS Secretary, Henry Curry Tel: 01733 204286
Dragonfly Centre and at the learning centre behind the cafe, Wicken Fen, Lode Lane, Wicken, Ely CB7 5XP
Start 10:00. Finish 16:00
Contact Henry to book.
Please bring your own lunch or visit the café on site. Small parking charge for non-NT members.
Small parking charge for non National Trust members.
There are around 30 species of dragonfly in Britain. Many can be identified and recorded in the field. On this course you will be:
Sue Rees Evans has been the Shropshire County Recorder for Dragonflies and Damselflies for the last 8 years. During this time Sue created the Shropshire Dragonflies website which serves as an online atlas and hosts the Shropshire Dragonfly Watch blog. Already an enthusiastic recorder of adult Dragonflies and Damselflies, an MSc in Biological Recording gave Sue the opportunity to dive into the world of larval and exuvial identification. With a real enthusiasm for hands on teaching, Sue has taught numerous courses on Dragonfly and Damselfly identification both as an Associate Tutor for the FSC and for various Wildlife Trusts, the National Trust and projects further afield such as ‘Cold-blooded and Spineless’ in the North Pennines. Though passing on the County Recorder role in 2018, Sue is looking forward to spending more time teaching and encouraging everyone to enjoy these fabulous insects.
This course is heavily subsidised by the FSC BioLinks Project (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund).
Full information here.
Photo of Brown Hawker (female) by David Kitching.
Preston Montford Field Centre Tel: 01743 852040
Preston Montford Field Centre, Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury SY4 1DX (SJ433143).
Please report to reception.
Start10:00. Finish 16:00.
There will be classroom sessions but the main focus of the course will be on identifying dragonflies in the field, so please dress appropriately.
Don’t forget to bring a packed lunch!
This relatively wild area is attached to Southwood Golf Course in Farnborough, and is due to become part of a new Sustainable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) in the next year or so. This event will be an opportunity to assess which species are currently present, and also what improvements might be useful for the Council to make. This meeting is the late season follow-up visit from 2nd June.
Photo of Large Red Damselfly (female) by David Kitching
Sarah Flynn Tel: 07763 580438
The corner of Hazel Avenue and Dene Road in Farnborough (nearby post code is GU14 0HA - map ref SU856554). Please note that Hazel Avenue is divided into two. Either drive to the meeting point from Cove Road (B3014 - turn by Whoopee Motor Factors into Hazel Avenue), or approach from Elles Road (A327), turning into Arrow road, (ignoring a turning into Hazel Avenue on the left), on down Cody Road, and eventually left down Dene Road. There should be sufficient on-road parking in the vicinity.
Some of the land is quite marshy, so sensible footwear is advised.
The survey will probably take until lunchtime. Those bringing a packed lunch could have their lunch by Basingstoke canal - about 2 miles away (details on the day).
A joint meeting with Freshwater Habitats Trust. A Flagship Ponds Site, the walk will visit various ponds across the reserve.
Photo: Black Darter by David Kitching
Leaders: Anne Carter / Pete Hinks Tel: 07534104564
Meet at 10.00 am in the reserve car park at SE669377.
Join leaders Ben Rainbow and Sam Crocker to see heathland specialist species.
We hope to see Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Black Darter, Small Red Damselfly, Keeled Skimmer and more!
Ben Rainbow & Sam Crocker
10.30 a.m. at RSPB Broadwater Warren nature reserve car park, Broadwater Forest Ln, Tunbridge Wells TN3. Grid ref: TQ554372
Bring lunch and water.
If not sure about the weather please call Ben on 07771 688832.
Approximate finish time: 3pm
Join a local expert from the British Dragonfly Society to learn the principles of dragonfly identification and field survey techniques. The day will consist of an indoor session in the morning, followed by outdoor fieldork in the afternoon.
Cost £5 per person - which contributes to the CareMoor for Exmoor scheme, supporting heritage, nature and access projects on Exmoor.
Discounts available for registered Exmoor National Park volunteers .
Photo of Common Hawker (male) Dave Smallshire
Exmoor National Park Authority
Tel: 07970 099127
Pinkery Centre for Outdoor Learning (SS723411), Simonsbath, Exmoor TA24 7LL
Please bring lunch, drink, waterproof boots and outdoor clothing.
Starts 10:00 AM, finishes 16:00 PM.
book here: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=vjzs4adab&oeidk...
Specifically designed for the beginner, this course includes dragonfly identification, biology and ecology, including a session with the Microscope-TV link and a field tour of dragonfly habitats on site.
Photo of Red-eyed Damselfly (female) by David Kitching.
Dragonfly Centre and at the learning centre behind the cafe, Wicken Fen, Lode Lane, Wicken, Ely CB7 5XP
Learn about Norfolk’s dragonflies and damselflies at the Wildlife Trusts' Cley Marshes Nature Reserve . The key points to aid identification, where to find them and about their life cycles. Indoor session in the morning, followed by a field visit to a local site after lunch.
More info will become avaliable on the Norfolk Wildlife Trusts what's on webpage
Photo by Dun.can, flikr.
Norfolk Wildlife Trust Tel: 01603 625540
Please book here.
Please bring your own or purchase from the cafe.
To survey this extensive area of mature flooded sand and gravel pits that constitute the Water Park. Eighteen species have been recorded in the Park. On occasion very large concentration of Migrant Hawker have been seen at this time of year.
Kingsbury Water Park website
Photo of Migrant Dragonfly (female) by David Kitching.
Peter Reeve Warwickshire County Dragonfly Recorder. Evening Tel: 01926 632400. Day Tel: 07980064079.
Broomy Croft car park, SP202969 (this is not the main visitor centre car park but further west across the M42).
Start 10:30 (meet 10:15). Finish
Bring strong footwear and a packed lunch
The current charge for parking is £2.50.
Transport: Car or cycle. No bus service Sunday.
Come and visit us on the British Dragonfly Society stand at this hugely popular event. You will need a whole day, if not more, to visit all the marquees. Various wildlife talks and other events take place on site throughout the entire weekend. For more details please see the official Birdfair website.
The Birdfair Office
Rutland Water Nature Reserve, Egleton, Oakham LE15 8BT
Each day. Start 9:00. Finish 17.30 (17:00 Sunday).
A joint meeting between British Dragonfly Society, Sorby Natural History Society, & Museums Sheffield. There has been some development on this reserve in the last 18 months, with a few channels and ponds being added. This will be an opportunity to see if any Odonata are taking advantage of these new features.
Wildlife Trust Woodhouse Washlands Nature Reserve website.
Photo of Blue-tailed Damselfly (female) by David Kitching
Alistair McLean (South West Yorkshire County Dragonfly Recorder) Tel. 0114 2782648
Meet at Woodhouse Washlands Nature Reserve entrance, Furnace Road, Sheffield, S13 9WG (SK431855).
On street parking is available on Furnace Road.
Photography Workshop: Pond Creatures
10:00am - 13:30pm Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea, Essex.