Dragonfly Pond

Watch dragonflies at the newest Dragonfly Hotspot in the UK: Exbury Gardens' Dragonfly Pond

This large ornamental pond at Exbury has been adapted for the insects with dragonfly-friendly, native aquatic and marginal plants. Floating pontoons allow visitors to get close to the wildlife action, an outdoor shelter has been built to act as a classroom for local groups and school children, and Exbury’s popular Rhododendron Line steam railway has a new Dragonfly Halt platform to make it easy for more people to explore the area.

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Emperor dragonfly | Dragonfly Pond | Dragonfly Hotspot | Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway | New Forest Dragonfly Pond boy pointing at dragonflies | Exbury Gardens & steam Railway | New Forest | Hampshire Mating azure damselflies | Dragonfly Pond | Dragonfly Hotspot | Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway | New Forest Dragonfly Pond boy pointing at information board on pontoon | Exbury Gardens & steam Railway | New Forest | Hampshire Black tailed skimmer dragonfly | Dragonfly Pond | Dragonfly Hotspot | Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway | New Forest

Dragonflies are crucial bio-indicators of the health of the UK’s rivers, canals and ponds but modern-day development, drainage and pollution have meant dragonfly numbers have fallen dramatically. This new wildlife area hopes to tackle this decline, creating a haven for the many fascinating and beautiful dragonfly and damselfly species that live in Hampshire. Whilst at the same time giving our visitors the opportunity to see dragonflies up close and learn about these captivating insects.

Designed with the help of the UK’s leading dragonfly experts, the new pond area at Exbury boasts info boards filled with dragonfly facts and take-away tips on how visitors can attract the wonderful creatures into their gardens.

Dragonfly Pond Nick Baker launch with two boys | Exbury Gardens & steam Railway | New Forest | Hampshire

Nick Baker with Friends of Exbury Members Rowan and Natty at the launch event

Dragonfly Pond was officially opened by naturalist and broadcaster Nick Baker on Saturday 17th July 2021, coinciding with the start of Dragonfly Week. Nick said:

“Most people think of ponies when they think of the New Forest, but I think of dragonflies. Exbury Gardens is now a Dragonfly Hotspot, within a dragonfly hotspot, so what better place to come to know your dragonflies!”

Watch the full opening ceremony here:

 

Dragonfly hotspot logo | Dragonfly Pond at Exbury Gardens in the New Forest, Hampshire

Exbury's new Dragonfly Pond has been designated a Dragonfly Hotpot by the British Dragonfly Society thanks to its dragonfly learning zone and is now one of just 6 in the UK. Dragonfly Hotspots are special places, carefully chosen by the British Dragonfly Society because they support a good variety of dragonfly and damselfly species, are easy to access, and can provide opportunities for local communities to get involved with dragonfly conservation and events.

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‘A truly fantastic day out. My wife and I were bowled over by the amazing spring colours of rhododendrons and azaleas and there was literally colour everywhere. There are beautiful areas to walk through as well as places to sit. We took a picnic in the hope of being able to sit by one of the ponds and were not disappointed – the reflections were as spectacular as the real thing! The next thing we want to do is return in the autumn to see the colours change as it must be beautiful’

David Parker, Christchurch

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