North Merseyside Amphibian and Reptile Group

About us

About Us

NMARG was formed in 2005 and is a group of about 60 members who are mostly involved with the conservation and monitoring of the reptiles and amphibians found in the area, especially the rarest two species, the Merseyside Race Sand Lizard and the Natterjack Toad.

During the Winter months, we undertake habitat management work, in partnership with other ARG groups and the Sefton Council Coast and Countryside Ranger Service. This vital work involves the clearance of unwanted scrub and trees, especially Sea Buckthorn, a highly invasive alien shrub on the Sefton Coast, which would otherwise shade out the precious Sand Lizard and Natterjack habitat. In the Spring, NMARG members also help to create and maintain the patches of bare sand essential for Sand Lizard egg laying.

During the Spring and Summer months we spend a large amount of time recording and monitoring the local reptile and amphibian species, especially the rarer species. NMARG's EPS licensed members also provide training in reptile and amphibian surveying.

Anyone wishing to get involved, seeking advice or supplying records are very welcome. Please contact Mike Brown at




Lizards awake

Posted on Sunday 11th March, 2012
The lizard monitoring season has now commenced, with 5 sand lizards and 6 common lizards active at one of our coastal sites on Saturday, March 10. No doubt the warm sunshine we have experienced at times recently has tempted them out of hibernation. The sand lizards included two adult males and two babies born last year. All of the common lizards were adult males.

Natterjack plans for 2012

Posted on Thursday 9th February, 2012
We intend to become more involved with natterjack toad monitoring in 2012, so hopefully we’ll experience some nice warm evenings in April and May! We are particularly concerned about natterjack population levels this year, as they have failed to breed successfully in all but one area for about 5 years. The breeding pools which the natterjacks use have generally either dried up before the toads could even spawn, or have dried up before the tadpoles could metamorphose.

Sand Lizards in 2012

Posted on Thursday 9th February, 2012
Our group will continue to record and monitor the populations of the rare Merseyside Sand Lizard in 2012. We may not discover any more ‘new’ populations this year, but it is important that we continue to study the known ones, in order to highlight any declines and assess the causes. Also, we are concerned that the poor Summer weather during the last 5 years and poor Autumn weather last year may have a serious impact on populations. We will also be keenly monitoring the juvenile sand lizards released on a sandy heathland site in our area in 2010 and 2011



Show Past Events

Buckthorn Bashing Weekend

Sat 25th November, 2017 - Sun 26th November, 2017

NMARG's first volunteer habitat management weekend of the current Winter will be on November 25 - 26, on the Sefton Coast, when we will be tackling an area of Sea Buckthorn scrub which is invading valuable Sand Lizard and Natterjack habitat at Ainsdale. The work will involve cutting down, dragging off and burning this highly invasive spiky shrub and is vitally important for the continued survival of the Merseyside Race Sand Lizard and the maintenance of suitable terrestrial habitat for Natterjacks. This task will be undertaken in conjunction with ARC's Gems in the Dunes project and the Sefton Council Ranger Service. Anyone interested in helping out, please contact Mike Brown by email at for further details.

Contact us

Contact Us

Mike Brown (chair)


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