Derbyshire Amphibian and Reptile Group
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About us

About Us

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 derbyshirearg@gmail.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 our last newsletter here pdf2016_Autumn-Winter.pdf

 

News

News

Conservation day organised for local ecological consultancy

Posted on Friday 24th November, 2017

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.


Derbyshire ARG Pond surveys spring 2017

Posted on Saturday 17th June, 2017

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.


New survey launched for adder, common lizard & common toad in Dark Peak & Southern Pennines

Posted on Sunday 9th April, 2017

Derbyshire ARG has been working with the Moors for the Future project to launch their Scales and Warts survey http://www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk/community-science/scales-and-warts the latest in their HLF funded Community Science surveys for the public. The launch was held at Hathersage on Thursday 6th April and 86 people attended to hear talks by Sarah Proctor, Community Science Project Manager for Moors for the Future, Kim Strawbridge from the Eastern Moors Partnership and Chris Monk from Derbyshire ARG. The survey joins existing surveys on bumblebees, butterflies, sphagnum & mosses, hares and others where people are asked to look out for just a few of the species that occur in the area. So far several hundred records have been received for the earlier surveys, the aim being to feed in data about species distribution that will be used to see how the ecosystems are coping and to determine how they will respond to climate change.

People can collect reply paid postcards to fill in and post back from Visitor Centres & other venues around the area, enter sightings via the surveys web form or download the free MOORWILD phone & tablet app available for both Apple & Android, links to download are on the MoorAPPS page where other apps for moss, plants and landscape are also available. Data about possible adder and common lizard distribution is particularly lacking from the northern & western Dark Peak and the South Pennines and it is hoped this survey will locate new sightings. The app and the web form also allow people to upload photos to aid in verification, which is particularly valuable for determining if a reported snake is an adder or a grass snake as these are often mis-identified.


AGM & Spring meeting

Posted on Sunday 5th March, 2017

Due to unforeseen circumstances our speaker for the spring meeting had to cancel so prior to the AGM the secretary updated the members on the October 2016 Vanishing Viper adder conference and also on the Natural England GCN District Level Licensing Project that was the subject of a presentation at the 2017 Herpetofauna Workers Meeting in February at Nottingham.

It is hoped to reschedule the grass snake and adder research talk to later in the year.


Spring meeting - talk on research involving grass snakes and adders

Posted on Friday 24th February, 2017

Our Spring meeting on Saturday 4th March starting at 2pm will feature a talk by Kevin Palmer from Reaseheath College in Nantwich on the research activity that has been taking place at the College, including work with both adders and grass snakes. The meeting is free & open to anyone and will also cover Natural England's proposals on District Level Licensing for great crested newt, followed by a brief AGM for Derbyshire ARG members.

The meeting is being held in the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's Whistlestop Centre at Matlock Bath Railway Station just off the A6 road. There is a large pay & display car park at the station.


Events

Events

Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

AGM & Spring meeting

Sat 4th March, 2017 - Sat 4th March, 2017

Derbyshire ARG spring meeting and AGM

Will be held at The Whistlestop Centre Education building, Matlock Bath Station, Derbyshire from 2pm to 4.30pm

Talk by Kevin Palmer of Reaseheath College on research projects on adders and grass snakes. Highlights from last October's Vanishing Viper adder meeting and a presentation on the proposals from Natural England for District Level Licensing that were shown at the 2017 Herpetofauna Workers Meeting followed by the AGM which usually lasts for no more than 15 minutes!


Toad crossing patrols

Wed 1st March, 2017 - Sat 15th April, 2017

Approximate dates for 2017 toad patrols helping toads across the road at around 20 sites across Derbyshire. If you would like to assist let us know and we will put you in contact with the nearest patrol.


Pond conservation work

Sat 29th October, 2016 - Sat 29th October, 2016

Morning event from 10.00 to 13.00 to rake out invading Glyceria and do a little silt clearance from dewpond that supports newts, frogs and toads near Hartington. Tools will be provided. Meeting place Hartington Station car park on the Tissington Trail between Ashbourne and Buxton. Please let us know that you will be coming and find out extra details by emailing derbyshirearg@gmail.com.


Derbyshire Woodland Festival

Sat 24th September, 2016 - Sun 25th September, 2016

Derbyshire ARG will be having our 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 4pm both days


Pond dipping at The Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve

Sat 2nd July, 2016

The Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve, Mill Lane, Wingerworth

We will be running pond dipping sessions and having a stand at the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s "A Venue for Wildlife" event at this reserve which as an important site for amphibians and reptiles. 10.00am to 4.00pm


Reptile field survey visit

Sat 11th June, 2016

CANCELLED TODAY DUE TO WEATHER - TO BE RE-ARRANGED

 

Field visit to record reptiles at one of our survey sites near Hassop in the Peak District National Park, meeting  at 9.15am and lasting just under 2 hours.  Contact us at derbyshirearg@gmail.com to find out details of meeting place in nearby car park, as event may be cancelled if there is bad weather.  Note this site has a very steep slope in parts with loose scree and to access most of the location it requires a climb over a stock fence topped with barbed wire. Therefore suitable footware and agility is required to take part.


Pleasley Pit Country Park Wildlife Day

Sun 5th June, 2016

We will be having a stand at this all day event organised by the Pleasley Pit Nature Study Group at this important Local Nature Reserve which supports good populations of amphibians and reptiles. 10.00am to 4.00pm


GCN eDNA survey

Sat 28th May, 2016

Field visit as part of the Freshwater Habitats Trust's PondNet project to take eDNA water samples for testing for presence of great crested newts in ponds at Pilsley near Hartington in the Peak District National Park. Contact us on derbyshirearg@gmail.com to book a place and receive details of time and meeting place.


Great Crested Newt ecology and survey training course

Sat 14th May, 2016

A two day course at Hilton in South Derbyshire, starting at 10.30am on Saturday including field survey work in the afternoon and evening finishing at 11.15pm. Morning session on Sunday 15 May finishing around 11am.
Cost £25.00 (or £5.00 for members of Derbyshire ARG before 1st March 2016)
This training course is suitable for those wishing to work towards a Natural England GCN survey class license. It will include netting, egg searching, bottle trapping and torchlight surveys and information and demonstration of GCN eDNA sampling.
Please contact us at derbyshirearg@gmail.com for inquiries or to book a place.


Reptile field survey visit

Sat 30th April, 2016

Field visit to record reptiles at one of our survey sites at Cromford, starting at 9.45am and lasting just under 2 hours.  Contact us at derbyshirearg@gmail.com to find out details of meeting place in nearby car park, as event may be cancelled if there is bad weather. (Last year's April visit co-incided with a thunderstorm!) 


Contact us

Contact Us

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Or contact the secretary at:
DerbyshireARG
Hilburn, Chapel Lane,
Middleton,
Matlock,
Derbyshire
DE4 4NF

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