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 email@example.com 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
A large moorland fire on Monday 21st May following a period of warm dry weather has burnt 43 hectares of the Peak District Eastern Moors SSSI before eventually being extinguished. Unfortunately one of our regular adder survey sites has been destroyed along with eggs of ground nesting birds and the habitat there could easily take 10 years to recover to a condition where it would be suitable for lizards and adders. The Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "It is believed to be suspicious ignition, possibly deliberate, but that is something for the police and Eastern Moors staff to establish."
This was the second moorland fire in May after another fire, again thought to have been deliberately started, destroyed an area in the Goyt Valley SSSI including many bird nests.
Both sites are in the South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the Peak District Moors (South Pennine Moors phase 1) Special Protection Area (SPA).
After the significant snowfall and cold weather in late February and early March that held back the start of the 2018 amphibian season, put a break on the reptile emergence surveys and postponed our spring meeting, it has all come to a halt again on Sat 17th with cold weather and snowfall blanketing the county especially the upland areas in the Peak District. Toads had just started moving last week especially in southern Derbyshire, frogs were spawning across the county and some reptiles were basking and now it has all come to a halt. Hopefully it will be full speed ahead for frogs and toads later this coming week with mild & wet weather forecast, though it doesn't look good for the reptiles. However we have just purchased a further supply of toad migration road signs to add to our stock and they will be put up this week as soon as the snow has cleared.
The Group's Spring Meeting and AGM due to be held on Saturday 3rd March has been cancelled due to the heavy snow and ice. It will be re-arranged for later on this spring when the weather is better.
Derbyshire ARG orgnised a mornings practical conservation work for ecology staff from one of the various ecological consultancies in Derbyshire. Clearance of Typha and other vegetation was undertaken to two ponds created a decade ago for a small scale great crested newt mitigation but later passed onto the Wildlife Trust for management. No great crested newts have been found in regular surveys of the site but the ponds are important from frogs, toads and smooth newts. Discussion was held on site with the ecologists over their views on habitat management or improvements needed, value of great crested newt mitigation and whether it works. It is hoped to organise a few other conservation events for the company and any others who might be interested over the next year.
The Group ran a series of pond surveys this spring to monitor amphibians, particularly great crested newts but also palmate and smooth newts, in ponds in the White Peak area of the Peak District National Park. These involved 9 ponds on 3 different nature reserves belonging to the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to add to their species monitoring data. Also we visited 6 ponds on two different farm holdings at the request of their owners and the Peak District National Park Authority farm advisers. In addition for the second year running we visited the pond near Hartington which had been randomly selected by Freshwater Habitats Trust for their PondNet great crested eDNA survey. The surveys were also advertised to people who had been on our great crested newt training courses so that they could gain more field experience in bottle trapping, torchlight surveys and eDNA water sampling.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
To book a place contact email@example.com
Due to the weather conditions this meeting has been postponed and will be re-arranged for later this spring
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 followed by the Group AGM
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.
Work party to carry out various habitat management at Hilton Gravel Pits nature reseve including pond clearance of Typha, removing willow saplings and cutting back/felling trees and vegetation clearance. From 9.30 to 14.30, bonfire, sorry no fireworks but jacket potates provided instead. Meet at Willowpit Lane entrance, task leader Kelvin Lawrence. Let us know if you are coming to make sure enough potatoes are provided. firstname.lastname@example.org
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 but using the poster voucher on our photo gallery you can get £1 off the parking charge. Open from 10am to 4pm both days
Morning visit subject to reasonable weather to a field survey site near Cromford where we have had a variety of reptile survey cover objects out for a couple of years. The surveys are assisting the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust with the management of the area. Grass snakes and slow-worms have been found there in previous years. 9.30am start, duration approximately 2 hours.
Please email the secretary at email@example.com to book a place and find out details about meeting place.
Morning visit at 9am subject to reasonable weather to a field survey site where we have had a variety of reptile survey cover objects out since the surveys commenced in 2015 near Hassop. Duration approx 2 hours. The surveys are assisting the Peak National Park Authority with the management of the area. Common lizard and slow-worms have been found there in previous years.
Please email the secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place and find out details about meeting place. NOTE that this is a very steep site and you have to climb over a stock fence (with barbed wire) to access the two plots, so you need to be fit and agile to attend.