Welcome to CPARG - Cambridgeshire and Peterborough's local Amphibian and Reptile Group. ARGs are local, grassroots amphibian and reptile conservation groups spread out throughout the UK, usually organised by county. As a volunteer run group we get up to a whole range of activities – newt surveys, frogspawn counts, advice service, liaison with planning authorities and consultancies, data collection/collation, training, chytrid swabbing, talks and presentations. The opportunities are endless! Events are held on nature reserves and throughout the wider landscape, and while our focus is on Cambridgeshire there are good links between neighbouring ARGs with access to shared away-days, conferences and training available.
We are run by and for volunteers, and we'd like you to join. We're looking for members – people who might be interested in surveying, receiving training, attending talks, sharing their knowledge and experience, or getting involved in any way with amphibian and reptile conservation locally. We're also looking for new committee members to help with the running of the group, most importantly in organising and/or running events (surveys, training, talks, habitat management etc).
Map of some sites we work on:
Before you download and fill out your membership form, please read the ARG UK Generic Risk Assessment and ARG UK Lone Working Procedures. The membership fee is £5 and payment instructions can be found on the membership document below.
ARG UK Generic Risk Assessment - Click Here
ARG UK Lone Working Procedures - Click Here
CPARG Membership Form - Click Here
To find our about how CPARG is operated, please feel free to read the CPARG Constitution.
CPARG Constitution - Click Here
Please join our Facebook for discussions with other members.
Please follow us on Twitter for all of our latest updates.
Please follow our blog for updates on our events and activities!
UPDATE WITH SCHEDULE AND LOCATION!
WEDNESDAY 14TH NOVEMBER 7.30 – 9.30, @ BCNP Wildlife Trust, Cambourne:
The Manor House
Cambridge CB23 6DH
7.30 - arrivals, introductions, networking
7.45 - three short presentations (with space for 5mins Q&A on each):
If anyone else would like to make a presentation please let me know and I'll add it to the agenda.
These introductory talks will lead into the evening meeting and activities as follow:
8.30. Activities to map attendees interests (amphibians/reptiles), experience, locations and preferred activities (e.g. talks, surveys, training, habitat management etc).
8.40. Discussion on existing, potential and new opportunities (e.g. NARRS, HNR surveys or work on sites new to sites to CPARG respectively).
9.00. Organisational structure - committee roles, joining the committee, communication: mailling lists/facebook, working and speaking as CPARG, membership costs.
9.20. Pub Quiz
9.30. Home Time!
This will be the first of our winter programme of activities ahead of a busy spring and summer of survey fever. It will invariably lead to another meeting (or committee meeting) to work forward the ideas developed on the night - full details will be annonuced ASAP.
It's a tight schedule for 2hrs so I may have to cut discussions short. All ideas raised will be recorded and discussions can be continued either online or in person at the follow-up meeting.
Please let me know if you'd like to attend, agenda items which aren't yet included, or if you'd like to give a presentation.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s my view on what CPARG’s role is within the local conservation landscape – please comment and join the discussion on facebook:
1) A one-stop-shop for herp conservationists in the county, signposting them to talks, training, surveys, habitat management etc which is already happening hosted by Froglife, WT, CPERC etc. If you’re running any herp events in the county please let us know and we’ll advertise them for you. As an end goal I’d like our website to signpost resident herpetologists to every talk, training event, organized survey opportunity and herp habitat management event in the county, whoever it’s organized by. If herps are your specific interest then we should be the place to come looking – even if we didn’t organize any of our own events.
2) We will also provide a forum for discussion between enthusiastic herpers. Should an idea emerge for which there is energy to pursue then the committee will facilitate putting that idea into action by helping with materials, permissions, risk assessments, advice, insurance etc, so we will generate our own exciting in-house events.
3) This allows us to share rumours of locally rare species e.g. adders and palmate newts and try to find new populations, or to help the county recorders in verifying reports local to our network of members.
4) We can also provide a local focus for national campaigns, like the Big Chytrid Swab of 2011 to co-ordinating volunteers for NARRS surveys in the county.
5) As a volunteer outfit we can also take on small-scale but very worthwhile conservation jobs which staffed charities can't afford to do, e.g. one of the ARGs recently restored a garden pond for cresties which no-one else would dare touch, but the ARG had the expertise and the willingness to get involved and manage it sensitively.
6) We may need to expand the committee to include specific roles. e.g. I'd very much like to recruit someone to co-ordinate signposting volunteers/members to help with their local toad patrols or to find out the status of 'lost' sites. I’ve also had a couple of requests for action on sites which are at risk of mismanagement or development where our expertise could be shared with the necessary authorities. I'm hoping to learn from other ARGs and bat groups what sort of things we can usefully get involved with, although a lot will depend on our membership and where your interests lie. If you've got any ideas you’d like to pursue please bring them to the table.
Paul Furnborough, Chair
In the last weekend of this November we shall be assisting Paul Doran and Guy Belcher from Cambridge City Council in restoring two of the concrete lined ponds at Cambridge City Crematorium (just off of the A14). The work will take us two days and will draining the old ponds, carefully removing all of the pond life, ripping up the old concrete before re-profiling the ponds before a new liner is laid (if time permits.
Please bring a packed lunch and wrap up sensibly depending on the weather, ensuring that you wear appropriate footwear.
We intend to start for 10am on both the Saturday and Sunday so please aim to be on site for 9:30am. If you do intend to attend and volunteer your time - please email email@example.com so that we have a rough indication of numbers.
CPARG Chairman Steven Allain will be giving a joint talk between CPARG and the Cambridge Natural History Society titled 'Amphibian Conservation and Midwife Toads'. The talk will take place in the David Attenborough Building on Pembroke Street, Cambridge between 6:45 and 8:30pm. Steve will talk about the threats posed to amphibians by the chytrid fungus and his research regarding the Cambridge population of midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans). Entry to the talk costs £1.50.
To join our email list please email:
To join CPARG please contact Helen Moore, our Membership Secretary.
Please see contact details for specific volunteering opportunities in the Events tab. Alternatively, for regular fixed sessions see contacts below.
For information about local toad crossings or any toad crossing related queries please contact Mark Goodman, our Toads on Roads Officer.
Regular fixed sessions coming soon.
To submit photos of events, species or habitats to our gallery please email Ali North or upload them to our Facebook page and make it clear you'd like to see the photos posted on the website.
For general herp advice please check these excellent FAQs:
If the answer you need is not there please contact our Advice Officer, Malcolm Busby.
If you've seen what you suspect to be a non-native species then please contact Gary Miller.
We have a small team dealing with possible wildlife crimes committed against herp species - please contact Steve Parnwell who will liaise with the team.