Dragonfly & Damselfly Surveying Techniques

This course is an introduction to dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata) for beginners and intermediates, including their ecology, life history and the surveying of dragonflies and damselflies in the UK. Learn about the fascinating aerial acrobats of the insect world.

You will spend the morning learning about these beautiful creatures in an indoor presentation including:

  • Introduction to Odonata in the UK, their life history & ecology.
  • Identification techniques.
  • Identify and find field signs and habitat.
  • Surveying techniques.

In the afternoon you will spend time around Swanwick Lakes practising dragonfly and damselfly identification techniques from the wealth of species in this beautiful reserve. There will also be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and discuss dragonflies and damselflies with your tutor Dr Ben Rushbrook and take home a copy of the presentation slides for future reference.

Is this course for me?
If you are a beginner, improver, working or volunteering in conservation, consultant, ecologist or simply interested in our native dragonflies and damselflies this is a great introduction to odonata ecology and surveying techniques.

When and where?
Wednesday 26 July 2017 – 9.30am to 4.30pm
Please arrive 10 minutes before the course is due to start

Swanwick Lakes, Sopwith Way, Swanwick, SO31 7AY the reserve is located just off Swanwick Lane in Swanwick, about 2 miles from Bursledon and 7 miles from Fareham. We are easily accessible from the surrounding urban areas of Southampton, Gosport and Portsmouth.

What do I need to bring?


  • Appropriate outdoor clothing for the weather on the day
  • Sturdy, comfortable footwear (preferably wellies)
  • Protective equipment (i.e. hat / sunscreen)
  • Packed lunch

Useful but not essential:

  • Close focusing binoculars
  • Identification guides
  • Hand lens
  • Tea, coffee, squash and biscuits will be provided during the indoor session.

Dr Ben Rushbrook – Ecologist

Ben has over 12 years’ experience working in the environmental sector covering roles within academia and for public, private and non-governmental organisations. He has a broad knowledge of ecological principles and processes, and experience of surveying and conserving a broad range of species (including protected species) and habitats. Since joining the Trust in 2008, Ben’s work has focused on the protection of aquatic and wetland habitats, in particular the invertebrate fauna they support. As well has delivering conservation programmes for a number of rare species including white-clawed crayfish and southern damselfly, Ben has led projects delivering conservation benefits to a range of taxa through the provision of management advice, delivery of habitat restoration and creation programmes, and provision of technical advice to statutory bodies.

Key Information

Start date:




Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust




Biology, Ecology


Swanwick Lakes, Swanwick. Hampshire

Contact Details: