British Dragonfly Society

British Dragonfly Society

At a glance


  • Animals / wildlife
  • Climate action
  • Education
  • Environment

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 
National - Britain


The British Dragonfly Society is a membership charity that encourages its members to actively volunteer in recording dragonflies and get involved in conservation activities. Our aims are:

  • To carry out and support research on dragonflies through supporting research projects, running our recording network and publishing reports
  • To conserve dragonflies through partnership work with conservation groups, government bodies and private landowners
  • To engage the public with dragonflies and their wetland habitats through running events, talks and walks around the country and producing educational materials

We are a small organisation with a large reach and impact working across England, Wales and Scotland. A full-time Conservation Officer, and a full-time Outreach Officer, coordinate our projects in England and Wales, and 2 part-time Officers co-ordinate activity in Scotland. We also employ 2 part time staff who manage fundraising, membership and communications. Staff are supported by a network of over 400 dedicated volunteers, who play a vital role in recording and monitoring dragonflies, delivering hands-on conservation projects, and outreach activities.



Science is at the core of what we do, with rigorous research and recording helping us to understand dragonfly populations and the changes they are undergoing.

Within the British Dragonfly Society is the Dragonfly Conservation Group (DCG), a consortium of dragonfly experts who focus on the research and conservation aspects of the society. The DCG provides support to a number of key partnerships, such as the State of Nature Partnership and the Wales Biodiversity Partnership.

The BDS also runs the BDS Recording Scheme, which compiles data that allows us to monitor changes in dragonfly populations in response to factors such as climate and habitat change.

We support both student and professional level research projects looking at a variety of aspects of dragonfly biology and ecology, and publish research on dragonflies in our well respected Journal of the British Dragonfly Society.

Public Engagement And Education

Awareness raising through effective communication is a vital part of our work. If we are going to recruit more dragonfly fans to help us to save dragonflies, damselflies and the habitats they rely upon, then they first need to know why this work is important and why these species are so special. This is the job of our Conservation Outreach Officer, supported by a network of fantastic outreach volunteers. Together they work hard to increase public understanding and awareness of dragonflies and get more people involved in their conservation.

Through our Dragonfly Hotspots Project we work in partnership with site managers to provide communities with local learning hubs, where they can go to connect with dragonflies and the wonderful wetland habitats they call home.

Throughout the year we also attend and host a multitude of public events, from field meetings to family fun days, to give more people the opportunity to explore the amazing world of dragonflies.


The work we do for dragonfly research we put to good use in conserving dragonflies and their habitats. We work with various partner organisations on dragonfly conservation projects, including habitat restoration and species re-introductions.

We also provide advice to other conservation organisations, governmental bodies and private landowners on managing for endangered dragonflies.

In addition to our policy support work, we also engage in consultations and development plans which impact threatened dragonflies and their habitats, working to protect dragonflies both now and in the future.

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