This one day course will give you a thorough introduction to hoverflies. It will include both their natural history and identification. The course is ideally suited to someone that has never studied hoverflies before but is curious about them and wants to extend their natural history knowledge of this fascinating and charismatic group of pollinating insects.

You don’t need any prior knowledge just a willingness to immerse yourself in the life of hoverflies for a day. There will be a mix of presentations, fieldwork and identification using various guides. The day will give you lots of opportunity to learn about these fascinating and diverse insects. By the end of the day you should have a good understanding of what makes them buzz and can put a name to some of the common species.

Tutor: John Biglin

John Biglin has had a passion for the natural world since an early age and has been involved with land management and wildlife for most of his career. During that career he has had jobs which spanned work as diverse as museum curator, habitat surveyor, urban wildlife project manager and head of parks for a local authority. Currently he runs his own consultancy ( As an experienced ecologist and land manager John has set up and run urban wildlife projects, surveyed thousands of acres of habitat, established local nature reserves and managed almost every kind of natural open space within lowland Britain both on the ground and at a strategic and policy level. He has a real enthusiasm for wildlife which is based on knowledge and experience whilst at the same time being quite infectious. The enthusiasm comes over quite strongly in his work with people doing things like guided walks, talks and radio shows. In natural history his special interest is British insects, though he also has a thorough working knowledge of our native plants, animals and habitats. He is a keen supporter of the arts, a musician, photographer and keen volunteer on things as varied as being a green flag award judge and running historic tours.

With the generous support of the Suffolk Biodiversity and Information Service, along with the Suffolk Naturalists Society, we are able to provide bursary funding for this course for those students who meet the criteria. For more information please go to Bursaries for Natural History Courses.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Picnic Lunch

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Please wear stout footwear and bring waterproofs, sun tan lotion and a hat. Larger hoverflies don’t mind the heat too much but we will be out in the field for part of the day and it may be hot. Bring a bottle for water too.
  • All equipment is provided but please bring nets and plastic pots if you have them and prefer to use your own.
  • Pens, pencils and a notebook to make notes and a camera would be useful too.
  • We don’t usually kill any of the animals collected on the course but if you have any dead ones you wish to have a look at during the day then please bring them along.

Sorry this course has ended