Looking out for Britain’s Dragonflies

The BDS has accumulated over a million verified records, some dating back to the 19th century. Join as a recorder and help us keep its position as one of the most respected insect recording schemes in the world.

The data we collect enable the British Dragonfly Society to track changes in dragonfly species distribution and abundance, and to identify species in decline that may need our help.

Getting Started

New to recording? Check out our beginner’s guide page.

If you need help with identification try our online identification guide, or purchase a field guide from our online shop.

We also produce printable leaflets to help you record dragonflies:

Complete List Recording

Once you are familiar with identifying common Dragonflies and carrying out basic recording, you can move on to Complete List recording. This involves making simple lists of all the species you encounter during a site visit.

Adopt a Site

We are looking for enthusiast dragonfly recorders to carry out Complete List surveys at sites of their choice at least three times a year during the dragonfly flight season (May to September).

The records from these surveys help us keep track of the distribution of dragonflies across the country, and go towards publications such as our Atlas of Dragonflies.

If you need help selecting a site, contact your County Dragonfly Recorder for help.

Please note important information about your site, such as access and route information. This will help ensure you survey the site in a similar manner during each visit, for the best comparability of results. If you give up your adopted site in the future, this information will also be of great use to whoever adopts it next.

If you choose to adopt a site to survey regularly please register it on our map.

This will help us identify under recorded areas and communicate with our recorders.

The registration map is made up of 1km OS grid squares. Choose the square(s) that best cover the site you wish to survey. Try to survey all wetland areas within the square(s) you have selected.

You will need to register/ log in.


Deregister: If you wish to give up a site you have registered too please contact our Conservation Officer.

Have you found a Site with Rare/Threatened Species or with High Species Diversity?

Sites supporting locally or nationally important species, or a high diversity of species, are known as Priority Sites. If you think one of your adopted sites could qualify as a Priority Site, carry out a Priority Site Assessment.

Specimen Collection and Data Policies

All BDS policies can be viewed here. The BDS and its Dragonfly Recording Scheme operate within these guidelines, which are based upon recommendations from the National Biodiversity Network.

Help us to promote the project