Welcome to Derbyshire Amphibian and Reptile Group we cover the whole of Derbyshire including part of the Peak District National Park.
Our group aims to promote the study and conservation of the amphibians and reptiles of Derbyshire and their habitats. We achieve this by:
raising awareness of the ecology and conservation needs of Derbyshire's amphibians and reptiles
undertaking practical conservation projects
running approximately 20 Toads on Road patrols at locations across the county every spring during the toad migration season
carrying out regular reptile surveys and amphibian surveys
organising amphibian and reptile training sessions for members and the public
providing advice and information and answering queries for the public
developing recording, monitoring and research intitatives
providing a forum for those interested in amphibians and reptiles
working in partnership with other relevant organisations
We hope our website will help you to find the information you are looking for, but if you still have a query, please contact us and we will do our best to help.
Derbyshire ARG always welcome new members to the group, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to join. There is currently no membership subscription required, though that is reviewed at every AGM..
We are very grateful for any records of amphibians and reptiles in your local area that you can pass to us as it helps in mapping the distribution of species and protecting their known habitats. Either contact us directly or use the Record a sighting tab on this website.
The group is run by a committee which is elected at the AGM each year. For 2017 - 2018 the committee elected at the AGM on 4th March 2017 are:
Chair - Christian Murray-Leslie, Vice Chair - Kelvin Lawrence, Secretary - Chris Monk, Treasurer - Jayne Thompson Committee members - Bev Bowman, Richard Fenn Griffin, Lisa Lawrence, Matt Liston, Iaian Stafford, Trevor Taylor
Derbyshire ARG organised a field survey trip at the end of May to carry out water sampling for sending away to test for the presence of great crested newt environmental DNA in water bodies.
The first site in the morning was to carry out the GCN eDNA sampling and pond habitat survey for Freshwater Habitats Trust's PondNet project. The large field pond near Pilsbury in the Peak District was the water body selected by FHT and members completed the survey and took the water samples. The result of the eDNA sampling will be known later in the year.
The group then moved on to sample two other ponds a few miles away to take additional eDNA samples for analysis by ADAS. A village mere restored in the 1980's by the Peak District National Parlk Authority was sampled first and the eDNA result was positive for the presence of great crested newts.
A circular field dewpond near Hartington that was restored in 2012 by the Peak District National Parlk Authority from its previous silted and leaking condition was then visited. The eDNA water sample was positive for the presence of great crested newts, confirming that it was worthwhile to have restored this pond which had no previous amphibian records. Whilst taking the samples frog and toad tadpoles and a female smooth newt were seen meaning that this pond supports 4 amphibian species.
A third eDNA sample taken earlier at one of the ponds on Hilton Gravel Pits SSSI nature reserve for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust returned a negative result for great crested newt presence, which was not surprising as it has a connection to a fishing lake and a fish was seen during the sampling.
2016 Toad crossings
Posted on Monday 2nd May, 2016
After yet another late season, not really starting until the end of March the road patrols have now finished for this year. Seems to have been a definite gradient across the county with patrols in the south of the county mostly having higher numbers this year, those in the central part being down on each of the last two years and those in the northwest having a very poor year.
At 6 of the sites male toads were measured for the ARGUK Toadsize project.
Reptile surveys 2016
Posted on Sunday 20th March, 2016
Dates have been fixed for member's spring visits to sites where we have reptile surveys running this year.
At present one survey is running at Hassop in the Peak District National Park in co-operation with the National Park Ranger Service and another is at a Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve near Cromford.
A smaller survey may be added this spring at another site close to Cromford and further dates announced for later in the year.
Toad Crossing preparations
Posted on Sunday 20th March, 2016
The cool dry weather has delayed the start of the toad migration season this spring but patrol members have finished installing the temporary toad warning highway signs at locations across the county. All we are waiting for now is some mild and damp weather to encourage the toads to start returning to their breeding ponds.
Learn about surveying our widespread native reptile species - grass snake, adder, slow-worm and common lizard at this DARG event. Indoor session in the morning followed by visit to nearby reptile survey site that supports grass snake and slow-worm in the afternoon.
The course is based at the Florence Nightingale Memorial Hall, Holloway, Derbyshire DE4 5BD situated between Cromford and Crich. It will run from 10am to 4pm, tea/coffee & biscuits provided, bring your own lunch.
Costs (to cover venue hire) are DARG members £5.00, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust members £5.00, non-members £10.00
Spring indoor meeting (talks to be confirmed) followed by Group AGM - or maybe the other way around!
2.00pm to 4.30pm Venue Derbyshire Wildlife Trust HQ, Sandy Hill Park, Main Street, Middleton by Wirksworth DE4 4LR
Pond management task
Sat 27th January, 2018 - Sat 27th January, 2018
Pond work party to carry out vegetation clearance at two ponds on Hartington Meadows nature reserve in the Peak District National Park.
10.00am to 1.30pm, tools provided. Contact us if interested in helping.