Clubtail Count 2017: volunteers needed along Thames and Kennet

Gomphus vulgatissimus photo by Christophe Brochard
Gomphus vulgatissimus photo by Christophe Brochard

Join the British Dragonfly Society in their quest for this elusive dragonfly!

The Common Clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus vulgatissimus) is listed as Near Threatened on the British Red List. It is a secretive species found on a limited number of slow flowing, mature, lowland rivers, with the River Dee supporting the most northerly population. In the Oxfordshire and Berkshire area, the species is known from both the River Thames and River Kennet. We have been growing increasingly concerned in recent years about the status of the Common Clubtail, with reports from our Local Dragonfly Recorders suggesting the species might be declining. It is unknown whether this is due to a decrease in records or a genuine decline. Because of its elusive nature the current records for the Common Clubtail are patchy and many of these are dated. In order to establish the status of the species, we need to change that. Clubtail Count is easy to take part in and could lead to your first ever glimpse of this beautiful insect.

Once allocated a survey area, you will carry out a minimum of 3 visits between May and July, simply walking along the river bank looking for the Common Clubtail or its skin cast. We warn you, this can get addictive! You don't even need prior experience of dragonfly identification: in your volunteer's welcome pack, you will receive an ID guide, which tells you all you need to know to identify this dragonfly.

If you would like to get involved, please email Project Coordinator, David Tompkins on: or BDS Conservation Officer, Genevieve Dalley, on:

For more information visit the British Dragonfly Society website and download the project poster (PDF)

Posted: March 3, 2017