Male Ruddy Darter
Male Ruddy Darter. Photograph © D. Williams

As well as dragonfly walks and talks there are a number of Shropshire based courses that focus on adults, larvae and exuviae and the fascinating life cycle of these insects. If you know of any planned Shropshire dragonfly events that you would like me to list here or if you would like me to give a talk or provide some identification training then please do get in touch.

STOP PRESS: New courses for 2022 listed below including Larvae and exuviae course April 6th 2022 and volunteer ID day April 13th 2022

Please also note the extra courses listed at the bottom of the page- full details to follow as they become available.

Biolinks Larvae and Exuviae Identification Course

10am-4pm Wednesday 6th April, 2022

Preston Montford FSC Centre

Aim: Sue Rees Evans is running a dragonfly larvae and exuviae identification workshop aimed at beginners.

The course commences with an introduction to dragonfly larvae and the part they play in the dragonfly lifecycle. Participants will then be introduced to the features used to identify specimens and an indoor practical workshop then focuses on the identification of exuviae.

After lunch we will focus on larvae, dipping in the field centre ponds and  hopefully finding some specimens enabling us to practice some hands-on identification. The afternoon will be completed by returning to the classroom to discuss the importance of building your own reference collection in enabling you to make and submit accurate biological records.

For full details please follow this link

Larvae and Exuviae ID

Cost: £10

Biolinks Dragonfly Exuviae Volunteer ID Day

10am-4pm Wednesday 13th April, 2022

Bishops Wood FSC Centre

Aim: A great chance to get some practice in identifying and recording dragonfly and damselfly exvuiae

Biolinks are looking for volunteers to help  with their dragonfly exuviae collection! Join Sue Rees Evans and take time to look at specimens, access ID resources and gain confidence in your skills.

Together with Rachel Davies (Biolinks) we’ll be working through a collection of odonata exuviae to identify and log specimens collected from the West Midlands and beyond. These exuviae will then form part of a teaching collection used to educate and inspire future dragonfly recorders.

Volunteers are also encouraged to bring their own dragonfly and damselfly exuviae specimens to get their identification verified.

Sue and Rachel will be on hand to verify species determinations, answer volunteer questions and provide identification guidance.

For full details please follow this link:

Volunteer ID Day

Cost: Free

Biolinks Learn to Love Dragonflies and Damselflies

10am-4pm Wednesday 11th May, 2022

Knapp & Papermill, Worcestershire

Aim: Sue Rees Evans is running an introductory course to the natural history of dragonflies and damselflies.

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.

For full details please follow this link

Learn to Love Dragonflies and Damselflies

Cost: £10

Biolinks Identification of Damselflies

10am-4pm Thursday 30th June, 2022

Bishops Wood FSC Centre

Aim: Sue Rees Evans is running an introductory course in the identification of damselflies

There are around 20 species of damselfly found in the UK. Due to the small numbers of species present in the UK, and the fantastic identification resources available, damselflies are a popular group among entomologists and are often considered one of the entry-level groups for new recorders. Join our expert tutor to learn more about these fascinating insects, and gain the skills needed to identify them to species level in the field.

For full details please follow this link:

Damselfly ID Day

Cost: £10

British Dragonfly Society Courses at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

Session 1: The Cycle of Life- from egg to aerial acrobat!
Saturday 11th June , 2022               10am – 4pm

A great opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of dragonflies and damselflies! Starting in the classroom we will take a journey through their highly successful lifecycle illustrated with a host of Shropshire species. Following lunch the afternoon will be spent around the centre ponds and River Onny observing some of the different life stages and witnessing behaviour such as holding territory, mating and egg laying.


Session 2: An Introduction to Dragonfly & Damselfly Identification
Saturday 9th July, 2022                    10am – 4pm

This day will focus on the identification of both damselflies and dragonflies. The morning classroom workshop will introduce us to those diagnostic features used in identification and interactive exercises will enable us to recognise these on some individuals.  Following lunch we head outside around the centre ponds and River Onny putting our new identification skills to the test.

For further details please click on this link: Discovering Dragonflies

Damselfly Identification Course provided by Cricklade Court Leet

10am-4.30pm Saturday 25th June, 2022

North Meadow NNR, Cricklade, North Wiltshire

Aim: Run by Sue Rees Evans this course is aimed at all those with a desire to learn how to identify these stunning insects. Aimed at beginners we hope to introduce you close-up to a number of damselflies so that you will leave confident in your own abilities to identify them and make species records.

The morning will be spent at Jenner Hall introducing damselflies and dragonflies and clarifying the differences between the two. An identification workshop then follows enabling us to recognise the diagnostic features of damselflies and identify a good number of species.

After a walk to North Meadow Nature Reserve for lunch the afternoon will be largely spent walking around the reserve allowing you to put your identification skills into practice. You will also be shown how to safely net individuals for identification purposes before releasing them unharmed.

The day will conclude back at the Jenner Hall with an explanation of how to use these skills to make biological species records.

For full details please follow this link

Damselfly Identification Course

Cost: £25

Further Biolinks Courses will be posted as full details become available. These are:

Dragonfly & Damselfly Residential weekend course July 22-24th 2022 at Preston Montford FSC

Dragonfly Identification Day Aug 4th 2022 at Bishops Wood FSC