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:
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
See a previous newsletter here 2016_Autumn-Winter.pdf
Current newsletter 2018_02_February_newsletter.pdf
The type of moorland management in the Dark Peak is of concern to herpetologists as intensive management with regular burning is extremely detrimental to reptiles. There has been considerable concern by naturalists over the persecution of birds of prey which has prevented most species breeding in the National Park. Over a century of keepering has resulted in the destruction of "vermin" on the grouse moors and as a result of this and the burning there are no known adder populations on the keepered moors. If highly protected birds like hen harriers and peregrines are illegally killed by some people then they would have no qualms in dispatching any adders they come across.
Due to incidents the National Trust has announced that the grouse shooting lease of two of its large tenanted estates on the Dark Peak will be terminated in a year's time as they do not consider the tenant can produce the outcomes desired in the NTs Moorland Vision.
A campaign has been set up to welcome the decision by the National Trust and to call on the Trust not to lease the land to another shooting tenant. Instead, the NT should take the opportunity to work with other partners to establish a wilder landscape, free of intensive grouse-management, where wildlife can recover and thrive and not be subject to illegal persecution. Derbyshire ARG is one of the 12 local environmental groups who have formed a coalition to sponsor the campaign and petition.
Find out "moor" at http://nomoorshooting.blogspot.co.uk
or sign the petition online at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/nomoorshooting
The first results are back from the eDNA water samples taken by the group on the GCN training course day and on the field trip in May.
The water sample from the pond at Hilton Gravel Pits SSSI nature reserve came back negative for great crested newts, so they appear to be avoiding this pond which probably has more fish than the one we saw at the time of sampling.
The village mere pond sampled on the field trip and the restored field dewpond both near Hartington came back as positive for great crested newts.
The results from the pond sampled as part of Freshwater Habitats Trust PondNet project will be know later in the year.
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.
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.
Once again Derbyshire ARG will have a stand at this popular weekend show organised by the County Council's Countryside Service at the wonderful Elvaston Castle Country Park just outside Derby. Come along and visit us, tell us about your sightings of amphibians and reptiles, learn more about them, colour in the ARGUK colouring sheets (for children of all ages). Entry free but car parking charge applies Open from 10am to 5pm both days
Derbyshire ARG will be having a stand and engaging with the public about reptiles and amphibians at this event being run at the Barrow Hill Roundhouse Railway Centre near Chesterfield.
Location: Campbell Drive, Barrow Hill, Chesterfield, S43 2PR
Pond dipping at the Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve, Wingerworth near Chesterfield
We will have our group display stand and will be carrying out pond dipping sessions at 12.00 and 2.30pm on this Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve as part of the DWT Local Group's event.
Location The Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve, Mill Lane, Wingerworth, S42 6NG
Replacement date for our meeting postponed from March (due to the snow)
Indoor meeting with a talk by Kevin Palmer of Reaseheath College on various native British reptile research projects he has been running in recent years; also an update on 2018 Toad Crossings and report back from Froglife's Toad Summit held on 19th June in Peterborough followed by the Group AGM.
Time from 14.00 to 16.30
To be held at the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust HQ at Sandy Hill, Middleton by Wirksworth, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 4LR
The HQ is on the B5023 road, 240 metres north of the traffic lights at the Rise End crossroads and there is ample free parking around the building.
Interested in helping with visits to restored dewponds on three farms at Middleton by Youlgrave in the Peak District National Park, involving daytime visits and evening torchlight surveys? If so then contact us on email@example.com