If you’re interested in finding out more about dragonflies and damselflies but don’t feel ready for a beginner’s ID workshop, then this is the course for you. Learn To Love Dragonflies and Damselflies is a very gentle introduction to one of our planet’s most spectacular insect groups, introducing aspects of their biology, ecology and behaviour.

Led by one of our dragonflies tutors this course combines classroom and outside learning opportunities to give individuals the opportunity to learn and understand more about the lifecycle and ecological roles of dragonflies and damselflies.

  • Certificate upon course completion.
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.
  • Please note that this course is NOT a species identification course.

This course is aimed at adults only and course attendees must be at least 18 years old in order to attend.

What will be covered during this course?

  • Understanding where dragonflies and damselflies are placed in the animal kingdom
  • Introduction to dragonflies and damselflies and understanding the differences between them
  • A detailed description of the lifecycle of dragonflies and damselflies underlining their ecological roles as both predators and prey
  • An overview of the species diversity of dragonflies and damselflies in the UK
  • How to go about finding dragonflies and damselflies in different habitats.
  • Weather permitting, close up observation of individuals in the field.

NB. For those who wish, the tutor will have the latest ‘Field Guide to the damselflies and dragonflies of Britain and Ireland’ by D. Smallshire & A. Swash available for purchase at £17.95 (NB. correct cash/cheque only please).

See the ‘Example Timetable’, ‘What’s Included’ and ‘Before You Attend’ sections below for more information about this course.

Course Fees

Regular Price: £75   For professionals and residents outside of the UK.  Select ‘Attendee: In Person’ Sold Out

Subsidised Price: £10   Subsidised by the FSC BioLinks project for non-professionals eg. volunteers, biological recorders, wildlife gardeners, amateur naturalists and students.Available to UK residents only.  Select ‘Attendee Subsidised: In Person’

Tutor: Steve Brooks

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.

Covid Measures

In order to keep our customers and staff safe we ask that anyone attending our centres:

  • wears a face covering when in shared indoor space (unless exempt).
  • maintains social distancing.
  • cleans their hands regularly.
  • takes a Covid-19 test before they arrive.

Example Timetable

  • Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00 am.
  • Refreshments will be available from 9.45 am.
  • The course will end at 4:00 pm.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • 6 hours of tuition
  • Certificate of attendance
  • Any excursions will be on foot

Bursaries and Subsidies

FSC BioLinks

FSC BioLinks is an exciting project for FSC in the South East and West Midlands, bringing together existing volunteers with skills in biological recording and identification, and new volunteers.

This project provides subsidised training courses, learning opportunities and digital tools focussed on invertebrate identification for anyone involved or interested in biological recording, to build and strengthen the community.

Invertebrates provide us with many useful ecosystem services, like pollination and decomposition, which we cannot survive without but their numbers are declining. Few people know how to identify or record invertebrates meaning there is a lack of data

We are delighted to have been awarded a grant of £1.23 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for this project.

Before You Attend

Getting to Morden Hall Park

Morden Hall Road, Morden, London, SM4 5JD

By underground: Morden (Northern Line), then a 500 yard walk along Aberconway Road, or Wimbledon (District Line) then tram to Phipps Bridge or bus to Kenley Road.
By train: Tramlink to Phipps Bridge stop, on park boundary ½ mile walk from Stableyard.
By bus: The following bus routes stop on the boundary of the park: 80, 118, 157, 164, 201, 470, 93, and the K5 route terminates at Morden Station, a 500 yard walk away along Aberconway Road.
By road: off A24, and A297 south of Wimbledon, north of Sutton.
Parking: Car parking space is limited, 25 yards. We have limited parking available onsite, please consider other ways to get here.

What to bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch
  • Hand lens (if you have one)

Due to the outside nature of part of this course, participants are advised to bring suitable clothing and footwear in order to access the site in various weather conditions.

This BioLinks course has aspects that will be taught outdoors with walking to field sites over uneven ground. No special preparation is required providing you are used to gentle exercise. If you have any concerns or questions about access or the activities involved, please get in touch.

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.