Creating and restoring healthy, natural and diverse wetlands is key to helping dragonflies thrive.

Wetland and ponds creation and management

Different species rely of a variety of different wetland habitats to complete their life cycle, from upland bogs, to lowland rivers. You can find out which species breeds in which habitats here.

Gardens can be an oasis for dragonflies; 17 species of dragonflies are known to breed regularly in garden ponds. Even a small pond can harbour dragonflies, such as Southern Hawker! Having a dragonfly pond in your garden will open up a world of fascination and magic that you never knew existed!

Follow the links below for advice on general habitat management for dragonflies, managing habitat for priority species, and garden pond creation and management.

Go pesticide free

Pesticides, such as glyphosate, are easy to acquire and widely used across Britain on farmland, in public spaces, and private gardens.

The risks posed to human and environmental health are now well know. Pesticide poisoning directly reduce the survival of dragonflies, particularly their larvae which are vulnerable to pesticide run-off into wetlands. However, they also result in the loss of their insect prey, particularly pollinators.

Changes need to be made to UK policy to put in place more rigorous pesticide regulations. This is why the BDS is part of the Pesticide Action Network. However, landowners, managers and gardeners can make changes to their own pesticide use to support wildlife recovery in their local area.

Find out about alternatives to pesticides.

Save Water for Wildlife

Clean freshwater is a precious resource- for us and wildlife. Due to climate change and increasing demand, large areas of the country experience water scarcity every year.

Garden ponds are one of the best ways to support your neighbourhood nature- as it provides a home to freshwater species and drinking water for other wildlife. If you don’t have space for a pond, consider installing a bird bath for thirsty critters!

There are plenty of easy actions we can take at home to reduce our own water usage (and our water bill), like installing water butts to collect rainwater for gardening.

Visit the Water’s Worth Saving website for top tips for the home and garden.

Plants for Dragonflies

Dragonflies are voracious predators that consume large numbers of small flies, as well as other flying insects. As a result, one of the best ways to help your local dragonflies is to ensure your garden supports large numbers of prey.

Helpful activities include planting native wildflowers and reducing the amount you mow your lawn.

You can find plenty of advice on the Buglife website

Record your Dragonflies

When the dragonflies start appearing use our identification help page to work out who’s visiting your garden. You can report your sightings to iRecord and keep track of how your pond species vary from year to year.

Further Information On Wildlife Gardening

We thoroughly recommend subscribing to the following YouTube channels for lots of free information on all aspects of wildlife gardening:



Wild Your Garden with Joel Ashton

Joel is our ambassador and has been creating wildlife

gardens across the country for over 15 years. You will find ‘how to’ videos and advice on his YouTube channel. Joel has also condensed his vast experience into a book of the same title ‘Wild Your Garden’.

Click here


Wildlife Garden Project

Our friend Laura Turner has created a series of video guides on how to help wildlife in your garden, no matter how experienced you are or what your budget is. The Wildlife Garden Project makes gardening for wildlife truly accessible for everyone.

Click here


Green Fingered George

RHS Youth Ambassador and dragonfly fan George regularly shares his gardening knowledge online. He has focused increasingly on wildlife gardening since creating a number of wildlife ponds with his family at home. We recommend giving him a follow on social media too.

Click hereGreen Fingered George

Image credits: Pond by Vadim Piottukh; Pesticide by jetsandzeppelins, flickr; Greenwich Park drought by Alisdare Hickson; Honey-bee by Stanze.