NMARG was formed in 2005 and is a group of about 70 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, the Gems in the Dunes project 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 help to 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
NMARG's first volunteer habitat management task of the current Autumn-Winter season will take place on the weekend of November 24th and 25th, when we will be clearing scrub and small trees from a fixed dune area near Ainsdale in order to improve the habitat for a small colony of Sand Lizards and encourage their spread into the surrounding area. This task is being organised jointly with the Gems in the Dunes project. Anyone interested in joining us, even if its just for a few hours, please contact Mike Brown by email, on email@example.com