Upcoming Events

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.

To add new events to this page (only if you have been given the appropriate access) click here

The background colour of the date is used to show different types of meeting:

  • Green is used for BDS and BDS Local Group field meetings and events.
  • Blue events have a BDS stand or speaker but the BDS is not responsible for the event itself - please follow any given links for details.
  • Yellow is for relevant non-BDS events, listed using information as it was provided to us. All details are solely under the control of the individual event organisers and may not get updated again here. We suggest you contact these organisers or follow the given links to confirm details.

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. 

  • Wednesday 10 July 2019
    Craven Arms, Shropshire

    Event:

    Field ID of Damselflies (WM region)

     

    There are around 20 species of damselfly in Britain. They are incredibly beautiful insects, but often get overlooked due to their larger and showier cousins, the dragonflies. Many damselflies can be identified and recorded in the field. On this course you will be:

    · introduced to damselfly ecology
    · taught the names of different features of damselfly bodies
    · shown how to identify distinctive species
    · shown how to safely catch, examine and release damselflies in the field
    · helped to learn and practice identification techniques
    · introduced to submitting damselfly records
    · advised how you can take your interest further

    The day will include a mixture of classroom and outside sessions so please dress appropriately.

     

    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 (shropshiredragonflies.co.uk) 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.

    Contact:

    FSC Tel: 01743 852100

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

    School Rd, Craven Arms SY7 9RS

    Times: 10 am - 4 pm

     

    Requirements:

    Booking fee: £5

    Booking and more info here.

    Additional Info:
  • Wednesday 10 July 2019
    NWT Upton Fen, Norfolk

    Event:

    NWT Upton Fen, Norfolk walk

    Morning walk to look for a broad range of dragonfly species, including Norfolk Hawker and Variable Damselfly. A joint meeting with Norfolk Wildlife Trust Broadland Group.

    Norfolk Hawker by Damian Pinguey

     

     

    Contact:

    Dr Pam Taylor – Norfolk Dragonfly Recorder

    Tel: 01692 670311

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    10.00am at Upton Fen car park, TG379136. Postcode NR13 6EQ (Low Road)

    From Acle, Norwich or Wroxham head towards South Walsham, then follow signs for Pilson Green. Local public transport services are limited. The nearest train station is Acle (3.5 miles).

    Requirements:

    Booking essential – preferably by email. Numbers strictly limited.

    Wellies or boots, insect repellent. Packed lunch if staying on site (unguided) for the afternoon.

    Additional Info:
  • 13/07/2019
    Dragonfly Week 2019!

    Event:

    Dragonfly Week!

    Saturday 13th July - Sunday 21st July 2019

     

    We think that Dragonflies are so awesome that they deserve a whole week (an extended 9 day week in fact!) dedicated to celebrating them! Please join in whereever you are in the world! Wear your favourite Dragonfly print clothing, bake cakes/biscuits with dragonflies on, head to your nearest pond to see some real life dragons, create some dragonfly inspired art - celebrate in anyway that you want to Make sure you let us know what you do though so that we can share with other dragon fans! We will be organising some events of our own that you can join at sites where lots of dragons live too. Watch this space for more details nearer to the time!

    Contact:

    Conservation Outreach Officer Fiona McKenna.

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    Wherever you are!

    Requirements:

    Have fun and enjoy Dragonflies in your own way!

    Additional Info:
  • Tuesday 16 July 2019
    West Bromwich, West Midlands

    Event:

    Field ID of Dragonflies

     

    With their large elongated bodies, dragonflies are one of the animals commonly associated with ponds. These predatory insects have an aquatic larval stage before emerging as the often colourful insects that we all know. However, despite the speed and agility with which adult dragonflies move, many can be identified and recorded in the field.  

     

    On this course you will be: 

    • introduced to dragonfly ecology  

    • shown how observe these fast-flying insects in the field 

    • practice identification techniques and know where to get ID support 

    • introduced to submitting dragonfly records and the British Dragonfly Society 
       

    There will be classroom sessions and practice at identifying dragonflies in the field. We will look for live dragonflies around the ponds on site and bring them back into the classroom for a closer look, before releasing them again.  

     

    Please note that this course is a course for beginners and absolutely no experience of dragonflies is needed – just a passion for nature and learning more about wildlife that is often overlooked. 

     

     

    Sue Rees Evans was the Shropshire County Recorder for Dragonflies and Damselflies for eight years.  During this time Sue created the ‘Shropshire Dragonflies’ website (shropshiredragonflies.co.uk) - an online atlas and 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 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.  

    Migrant Hawker by David Kitching.

    Contact:

    FSC Tel: 01743 852100

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    Sandwell Valley RSPB

    Tanhouse Ave, Birmingham, West Bromwich B43 5AG

    Times: 10 am - 4 pm

     

    Requirements:

    Booking fee: £5

    More info and booking.

    Additional Info:
  • Wednesday- Thursday 17-18 July 2019
    Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

    Event:

    Illustrating Dragonflies and Damselflies

    Tutor: Lizzie Harper

    Learn a little about British dragonflies and damselflies, and to draw and paint these amazing animals.

    This two-day workshop will give you the chance to learn a little about British dragonflies and damselflies, and to draw and paint these amazing animals. Designed for those with some experience of watercolour illustration you will work from insects in the wild and from museum specimens.

    By the end of the workshop you should have completed a finished watercolour of a damsel or dragonfly in its’ natural habitat.

    Tips on composition, painting leaves, tackling transparent wings, and showing shine on the body will be covered. There will also be the opportunity to do some sketching in the Garden, and to examine and draw the fascinating larval forms of these animals as well.

    Lizzie will be on hand throughout to offer support and advice, and will demonstrate techniques that may be of use.

    This course is suitable for those with some experience of using watercolours. It is not suitable for beginners. Please look at other art courses on offer that are designed with beginners in mind.

    Cost: £125

    Keeled Skimmer by Lizzie Harper.

    Contact:

    Cambridge University Botanic Garden Tel: 01223 336265

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    10:00- 16:00 

    Cambridge University Botanic Garden
    1 Brookside
    Cambridge
    CB2 1JE

    Requirements:
    Additional Info:
  • Friday 19 July - Monday 22 July 2019
    Settle, North Yorkshire

    Event:

    Identifying Freshwater Invertebrates

    This is a course for both beginners and those with some experience who wish to improve their identification skills on aquatic macroinvertebrates. The Malham estate has a wide variety of aquatic habitats; not only the tarn itself but also ponds, streams and bogs; which support a wide variety of aquatic macroinvertebrates.

    You will also have the opportunity to practice with correctly named specimens from other locations. The course focuses on field and laboratory skills training and self confidence in identification at whatever taxonomic level. The course content is flexible and can be tailored to the individual needs of participants. The course will include:

    • Field collection techniques
    • Preservation and curation of wet specimens
    • Use of identification keys including to species level for most groups
    • Some information on life histories
    • Introduction to recording distribution data

    At the end of the course participants should be:

    • Confident about using the field techniques for collecting and preserving specimens
    • Able to recognise many aquatic insects, both adult and juvenile; and other macroinvertebrates; to class, order and even family level in the field
    • Confident in the use of microscopes and identification keys
    • Confident in using map references for recording.

    Sharon Flint has over 20 years’ experience in identification of adult and juvenile aquatic insects and has taught identification and ecology to university students and professionals. She has worked on aquatic invertebrate surveys for Natural England, the RSPB and the private sector and has carried out research on the ecology of stoneflies and caddisflies. She works as an independent consultant on various projects and with a range of clients and carries out AQC work on aquatic invertebrate samples for consultancies. She is the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union recorder for Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera.

    Peter Flint is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and a Past President of the Yorkshire Naturalists Union. He has been involved in entomology for over 50 years, has a wide ranging knowledge of both aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, and was curator of insects at Lancaster University for over 40 years.

    Book here

    RESIDENT(SOLE OCCUPANCY): £375        RESIDENT(SHARED ROOM): £345        NON-RESIDENT: £255

    Blue-tailed Damselfly by David Kitching

    Contact:

    FSC Malham Tarn Tel: 01729 830331

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    FSC Malham Tarn
    Settle
    North Yorkshire
    BD24 9PU

    Requirements:

    Booking required.

    Additional Info:
  • Friday 19 July - Sunday 21 July 2019
    Shrewsbury, Shropshire

    Event:

    Identification of Dragonflies and Damselflies

     

    This course is aimed at those with a desire to learn more about these stunning insects. Open to all levels of ability we aim to introduce you close-up to a good number of our Shropshire species of dragonfly and damselfly, you will leave confident in your own abilites to identify them and make species records. Classroom sessions on identification, life history, larvae and exuviae will combined with a number of field visits to a range of aquatic habitats. This will allow you to put your skills into practice and to observe and understand the visual spectacle of these fascinating insects on the wing.

    Sue Rees Evans has served as the Shropshire County Recorder for Dragonflies and Damselflies and the Odonata Tsar for the Shropshire Ecological Data Network for the last 8 years. During this time Sue wrote the Shropshire Dragonflies website which serves as an online atlas and hosts the Shropshire Dragonfly Watch flight season 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.

    Book here

    RESIDENT(SOLE OCCUPANCY): £295       RESIDENT(SHARED ROOM): £270      NON-RESIDENT: £215

    Contact:

    Field Studies Council, Tel: 01743 852100
     

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    Times: 06:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Preston Montford Field Centre
    Montford Bridge
    Shrewsbury
    Shropshire
    SY4 1DX

    Requirements:

    Booking required.

    Additional Info:
  • Saturday 20 July 2019
    Bushy Park, London

    Event:

    Discovering Freshwater Invertebrates and Ecology (Bushy Park)

    Bushy Park is home to a network of ponds and streams supporting a wide range of species from insect larvae to amphibians. This course will provide an introduction to freshwater pond habitats with a focus on sampling and identifying freshwater invertebrates in the field. This will be a practical course with ample opportunity to sample and identify specimens from several different ponds. By the end of the course participants will:

    • Have an awareness of a wide variety of freshwater life.
    • Be confident using a key to identify freshwater invertebrates.
    • Know how to safely sample freshwater ponds.
    • Understand the challenges facing freshwater life in the UK and how to submit records
    • Have a good understanding of how to best maintain ponds for wildlife

    Book here

    NON-RESIDENT: £35

    Course Fee includes: FSC guide Freshwater Name Trail. 

    Our Natural History and Exploring Nature and the Arts courses are aimed at those aged 18 and above. If you are interested in one of our courses but are under 18 at the time of the course beginning please contact the Centre hosting the course prior to booking to discuss the content and its suitability.

    About the tutor:

    Maaike Milligan is a Senior Tutor with the Field Studies Council. She has an MSc in Aquatic Ecology and specialises in freshwater macroinvertebrates. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and has worked on a wide range of research projects. She is also a qualified Biology Teacher

    Timetable

    • 09:45 – Registration and refreshments
    • 10:00 – Introduction to Freshwater Invertebrates
    • 10:30 – Field session: introduction to sampling freshwater ponds
    • 11:15 – Field Identification of Freshwater Invertebrates
    • 12:00 – Lunch – please bring a packed lunch.
    • 13:00 – Field session: assessing the health of freshwater ponds using BMWP (Biological Monitoring Working Party)
    • 15:00 - The ecological status and importance of freshwater habitats in the UK – what we can do to help our own pond habitats.
    • 15:30 – Discussion and summary
    • 16:00 – Course ends

    All timings are approximate. This is an outline programme and may be subject to change according to the weather, requirements of the group or access restrictions to field sites on the day of the course.

    What to Bring:

    • Weather-appropriate outdoor clothing
    • a packed lunch

    Health and Safety and Accessibility

    • There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site.
    • If you have special medical requirements please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.
    • Please be aware that this is a Deer Park, and there can be ticks. Please consider wearing long sleeved tops and trousers, even if the weather is nice, and bring insect repellent.
    • Our courses include some classroom sessions but field visits may be a few hours long and involve walking over uneven ground

    Meeting point / Location

    The Stockyard, Bushy Park.

    FSC in Bushy Park

    FSC have been working in partnership with The Royal Parks to deliver courses since 2011. In Bushy Park, our education Centre has two classrooms, toilet facilities, a small kitchen and office space. Alongside this is an area of the Park for education use, not open to members of the public. With two large meadows and grassland areas, woodland areas and three ponds, this is an exciting and inspiring space to discover more about the Park. Located near Hampton Court Palace, Bushy Park's mixture of woods, gardens, ponds and grassland makes it a fantastic place to enjoy wildlife with roaming herds of Red and Fallow Deer. The park is also home to the famous Chestnut Avenue, a formal Baroque water garden and the beautiful Diana Fountain.

    Photo: Large Red Damselfly by David Kitching

    Contact:

    FSC Tel: 01306 734501

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    Bushy Park
    Hampton Court Road
    Hampton
    Middlesex
    TW12 2EJ

    Requirements:

    Booking required

    Additional Info:
  • 21/07/2019
    RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes, Cambridgeshire

    Event:

    Darting dragonflies and dazzling damselflies at RSPB Fen Drayton

     

    Price: Adults £8 (RSPB Members) Adults £10 (Non-Members)

    Booking essential

    Join the RSPB team for a guided walk with a local enthusiast to identify and learn about dragonflies and damselflies that call the reserve home. We will hopefully see colourful species such as scarce chasers (pictured), emperor dragonflies and banded demoiselles. Booking is essential. This walk is limited to 20 participants.

    Please book via: bit.ly/FenDraytonDragonflies;

    If you do not have access to the internet, please ring: 01842 863403 or 07803 576410 to arrange payment.

    Website: https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/fen-drayton-lakes/

    Immature Scarce Chaser, image copyright RSPB.

    Contact:

    fendraytonlakes@rspb.org.uk or phone 01954 233260

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    Meeting point is the reserve car park (closest postcode CB24 4RB)

    Requirements:

    Boking essential, please dress suitably for the weather.

    Additional Info:

    Please note that there is a seasonal Portaloo at this location.

  • Saturday, 27th July 2019
    Lackford Lakes, Suffolk

    Event:

    Insect ID for Beginners at Lackford Lakes

    With Hawk Honey, insect expert.
    6.30am to 12.30pm. (Please check this start time with Suffolk WT!)
    Find out more and book at: https://www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/events/2019-07-27-insect-id-beginne...

     

    Lackford Lakes by Mark Pettitt

    Contact:

    Suffolk Wildlife Trust

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Lackford Lakes reserve, Lackford, Bury St Edmunds IP28 6HX

    Requirements:

    Booking essential. £30 per person.

    Additional Info:
  • Saturday 27 July 2019
    Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire

    Event:

    Identifying Dragonflies

    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 workshop introducing this group of insects and focusing on their identification. We will then head to the pools and hopefully introduce you close-up to a good number of the local species. Weather permitting there will be ample chance to allow you to put your identification skills into practice and to observe and understand the visual spectacle of these fascinating insects on the wing.

    Sue is Shropshire County Recorder for the British Dragonfly Society and the Odonata Tsar for the Shropshire Ecological Data Network. Sue recently completed an MSc in Biological Recording focusing on dragon and damselfly larval habitats. In between teaching for Shropshire based museums, Sue also leads dragonfly courses for the Field Studies Council, the National Trust and regional Wildlife Trusts.

    Book here

    NON-RESIDENT: £45

    Photo: Common Darter by David Kitching

    Contact:

    Bishops Wood Centre Tel: 01299 250513

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    Times: 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM

    Bishops Wood Centre
    Crossway Green
    Stourport-on-Severn
    Worcestershire
    DY13 9SE

    Requirements:

    Booking required.

    Additional Info:
  • Sunday 28th July 2019
    Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire

    Event:

    Introducing the Dragonfly

    Field course led by Henry Curry, BDS Secretary. 

    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.

    Cost: £35

     

     

     

     

     

    Contact:

    BDS Secretary, Henry Curry Tel: 01733 204286

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    The learning centre behind the cafe, Wicken Fen, Lode Lane, Wicken, Ely CB7 5XP

    Start 10:00am. Finish 16:00pm.

    Requirements:

    Pre-booking is essential, please contact Henry Curry to book. 

    Please bring your own lunch or visit the café on site.

    Additional Info:

    There is a small charge for the car park for anyone who is not a National Trust member.

  • Sunday 11th August 2019
    Bodymoor Heath,Warwickshire

    Event:

    Bodymoor Heath,Warwickshire

    Our third attempt to visit KWP. No one came to the two previous meeting due to the atrocious weather! The Water Park is an extensive area of mature flooded sand and gravel pits. Eighteen species have been recorded in the Park. On occasion very large concentrations of Migrant Hawker have been seen at this time of year.

    Migrant Hawker by David Kitching

    Contact:
    Peter Reeve Tel: 01926 632400/ 07980064079
    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    10.45 for 11am at the Broomy Croft car park, SP202969 (this is not the main visitor centre car park but further west across the the M42). The current charge fo parking is £3.00.  For map follow the link: www.streetmap.co.uk. Also see the Park website.

    Car or cycle. No bus service Sunday.

    Requirements:

    Bring strong footwear and a packed lunch.

    Additional Info:
  • Friday 16- Sunday 18 August 2019
    Rutland Waters, Rutland

    Event:

    Birdfair 2019 

    birdfair.org.uk

     

    Contact:

    Birdfair Office

    Contact Email:
    Meet:
    Requirements:
    Additional Info:
  • Thursday 12 September 2019
    London

    Event:

    Dragonfly Larvae ID with Microscopes

     

    Dragonfly larvae (the aquatic stage in a dragonfly’s life cycle) can be tricky to identify and need to use of microscopes and keys.

    This course will start with an introduction to dragonfly larvae and the part they play in the dragonfly lifecycle. Time will be spent out and about at the field centre dipping in ponds for larvae and practicing some hands-on identification. Indoor practical sessions will then focus on microscopic identification.

    This course is most suitable for those people who currently record adult dragonflies in the field and wish to start identifying dragonflies at different stages of their life cycle, or for those people who currently study other groups of freshwater invertebrates and would like to expand their identification skills to include dragonfly larvae. 

    Dragonflies first grabbed Steve Brooks attention at an early age when the larvae he had netted in a local pond ate everything else in the jar. Since then he has been fortunate to study them at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and during a 38-year career at the Natural History Museum (London). He has since retired but continues to take an active interest in dragonflies, sits on the Conservation Committee of the British Dragonfly Society and is a Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum. Steve has studied the taxonomy and ecology of dragonflies in Europe, Africa and South America and published widely on the group, including A Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland (with Steve Cham and Richard Lewington) and (with Philip Corbet) Dragonflies in the New Naturalist series.

     

    Azure Damselfly by Val Perrin.

    Contact:

    FSC Tel: 01743 852100

    Contact Email:
    Meet:

    FSC London: Bushy Park

    The Stockyard, Hampton TW12 2EJ

     

    Times: 10 am - 4 pm

    Requirements:

    Course fee: £5

    Booking and info here

    Additional Info:

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