New Forest
 - Explorers
New Forest
Explorers Guide
Wildlife composite image
Pony near Hampton Ridge
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
***** For information about New Forest access restrictions and related matters, check out the Forestry England website. *****

Dragonfly Field Guides - and other useful dragonfly and damselfly books

Mature male Banded Demoiselle - use a good Dragonfly Field Guide to separate Banded Demoiselles from Beautiful Demoiselles
Mature male Banded Demoiselle -
use a good Dragonfly Field Guide to separate
Banded Demoiselles from Beautiful Demoiselles

Dragonfly Field Guides - which all fully cover damselflies as well - are essential acquisitions for those who wish to correctly identify these fascinating insects.

There are a number of excellent dragonfly field guides available, all of which are well-illustrated with photographs and / or artwork. Most, if not all, dragonfly field guides also contain information about flight periods, habitat preferences, distribution and population status.

When selecting a dragonfly field guide, the quality and coverage of the illustrations is clearly important - all key identification features should be shown, including, where they differ, the markings and colours of both males and females. Teneral - the winged insects' initial stage - markings should at least be mentioned, and so should the extent to which colours and markings change with age.

Additionally, the size of the book and its weight may be significant if it is expected that the guide will be carried on field trips, whilst many people are likely to prefer field guides that deal only with British dragonflies and damselflies, rather than those that include the great many other species that occur in mainland Europe.

Other, larger format dragonfly and damselfly books are also available, including 'The Dragonflies of Hampshire', an excellent publication that is highly recommended for all those with a particular interest in this County's dragonflies and damselflies.

Websites are also potentially helpful, both for use on a phone, for example, whilst out in the countryside, and for more leisurely study at home.

Help me to help you (please)
Many field guides are available through the Amazon website, where can also be found customer reviews. Prices are usually extremely competitive, the ordering process is quick and easy, and delivery is typically fast.

Furthermore - important from my perspective - purchasing anything from Amazon via this link results in the receipt of a modest contribution towards the cost of developing and maintaining this free-to-use New Forest website which, unlike some other similar sites, is not funded by the local Council, the National Park Authority or through any other form of public taxation. (In essence, purchasing via this link costs you nothing and helps ensure that this site will be improved and maintained in the future.)

New Forest Dragonfly and Damselfly websites

There's also lots of information on-line about New Forest dragonflies and damselflies. Doug Overton has spent many years compiling information on dragonfly species in the New Forest, and has built a comprehensive, excellent video / image gallery that is published on-line. Check it out here.


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** New Forest ponies and other animals**
The New Forest
Commoners' ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene, but during 2019 agisters attended 159 road traffic accidents involving these animals, a small but disappointing increase on the 154 accidents attended in 2018.

Sadly, 58 animals were killed - 35 ponies, 13 cows, 8 donkeys and 2 sheep, whilst a further 32 were injured - 3 pigs, 9 donkeys, 11 cows and 9 ponies.

(Forty-three accidents occurred in daylight, 15 at twilight and 101 in the dark. Twenty-seven accidents were not reported by the driver involved).

Here's just one horrific example - Three donkeys killed in collision with van at notorious New Forest blackspot (Advertiser and Times)
** Always take care when driving **
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley